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Is the Apple HDTV 'imminent'?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 15 Nov 2012 16:13 User comments (1)

Is the Apple HDTV 'imminent'? Jefferies & Co. analyst James Kisner has noted today that he believes an Apple HDTV announcement is 'imminent.'
Citing talks with cable industry sources, the analyst claims that at least one "is working to estimate how much additional capacity may be needed for a new Apple device on their broadband data network."

Here is the full note (speaking about the prospects for company he is following, Arris):

Our discussions with industry contacts suggest that at least one major N. American MSO is working to estimate how much additional capacity may be needed for a new Apple device on their broadband data network. We believe this potentially suggests an imminent launch of the Apple TV, a positive development for ARRIS, who is directly exposed to data traffic growth from incremental IP video streams on cable networks.

In Chart 10 below we examine the potential impact of an Apple TV launch at Arris' biggest customer, Comcast (CMCSA, $35.40, Hold) (Here we're talking about an unannounced product, not the Apple TV product that is currently available). It's important to understand that network capacity is largely engineered to peak traffic levels – thus we've based our analysis on what peak data consumption might be based on 50% of Apple TV users watching an HD video stream all at once (this might realistically happen on a Friday or Saturday night). We then translate the incremental data usage to incremental port requirements (each port maps to roughly 40mbps of capacity). Our conversations with industry contacts have suggested in the past that Arris has over 50% of Comcast's CMTS footprint – thus we assume 55% of the port shipments go to ARRIS. Finally, we assume that these port shipments come at 45% contribution margin; given the relatively high gross margins and software content on the CMTS business, we believe this is realistic. Depending on the unit assumptions, we arrive at an EPS impact of $0.07 – $0.40 for Arris from an Apple TV launch at Comcast. We note that Jefferies analyst Peter Misek is forecasting Apple TV unit sales of 4.9 million units in CY13 and 11.6 million units in CY14. These estimates assume an actual Television product (not a "puck" like the current Apple TV).


Apple's TV has been rumored for two years now, but there has been no word from Apple itself outside of former CEO Steve Jobs saying "we cracked it!" in regards to making a product that works the way he would have liked it to.

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1 user comment

116.11.2012 21:29

This is all just hype. There's absolutely no reason why Apple would alert Comcast and other ISPs to products which (unlike wireless providers and phones) require no special support on their part.

What's really going on is that these ISPs are well-aware that Netflix is 30% of their traffic. Given the likely wide adoption of an Apple "iTV", ISPs have to consider what a popular new device that streams video would do to their networks. Given that it takes years to plan and install huge bandwidth upgrades, you can't blame ISPs for doing these kinds of "what if" calculations.

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