Remembering when we wondered if the ‘ iTV’ would actually be a really big iMac or iPad

Last week there was a quickly dismissed rumor that Apple was working on a 60-inch OLED Apple television. For years, it was anticipated that the tech giant would unveil an “iTV.” That’s probably not going to happen, but those rumors did make for some interesting speculation.

Writing for Cult of Mac, in 2013, Mike Elgan said Apple’s TVwouldn’t be a TV at all, but would be another "beautiful, powerful, elegant Apple computer, and we're all going to want one."

Elgan said the iTV will actually be a really big iMac or a really big iPad. The Cult of Mac writer said Apple has two problems to solve, and he thinks our favorite tech company will solve them this way:

"The first problem is distance. Each type of computing device is used at a different distance, from phones, tablets, laptops and desktops, the distance between screen and eyeball gets larger. The TV distance is so great that new interfaces beyond touch have to be included. In Apple’s case, these are likely to be Siri, in-the-air gestures, remote controls and phone and tablet control.

"The second challenge to be overcome is obsolescence. People aren’t going to buy a 4K TV every two years. They might buy one every four years. Some will wait longer.

"I don’t believe that’s as big a challenge as some have described. A good model to consider is the console video games market. Microsoft is on an upgrade cycle for the Xbox that lies somewhere between 8 and 10 years. The PlayStation is similar.

Apple could probably do better than that. One could imagine a new version of the iTV coming out every six years, five years or even four years."

However, Elgan said an Apple TV wouldn’t come cheap.

"If you assume that Apple will have more powerful electronics inside, which would raise the price, but have it manufactured starting, say, a year from now and at vastly higher scale than Sony’s, which would lower the price, a $3,999 or $4,999 iTV isn’t inconceivable. And the price would consistently drop from there.” 

Alas, we’ll probably never know. Then again, stranger things have happened. Maybe one day we will see an “iTV” along with an Apple TV streaming service.

By the way, the graphic accompanying this article is from a 2008 endgadget post for a curved iMac by designer Nunu Teixeira.