According to Jeffries analyst Peter Misek, the relationship between Apple and Samsung has soured to a point where Apple is now considering using more Sharp LCD panels in its upcoming rumoured mythical iTV (are we calling it that now?). Not only will it shift more production to Sharp for the television, it may also tap the panel manufacturer for screens for its next iPhone 5 and iPad 3 as well.
Misek bases his assertions on checks with suppliers on a recent trip to Japan, and notes that Sharp, Samsung and LG are all manufacturing panels for Apple, but a share of production has shifted to Sharp in light of recent animosity between Apple and Samsung.
All of this falls under the category of “rank speculation,” and as such it made me think of an episode of Mad Men. Don Draper and company are competing for Honda Motorcycles as a client. The representatives from Honda have placed strict rules on the bidding process for each advertising agency, including a maximum budget they are allowed to spend on their pitch. Draper pretends that they are making a commercial for the pitch, bringing in directors, renting studio space, and making sure that his competitor thinks he’s making a commercial. Not to be outdone, the other agency goes and makes a commercial, going way over the budget, and breaking the rules of the bidding process.
Draper walks in to the meeting, after the other agency has pitched, and withdraws from the competition, playing on Honda’s sense of honour and correctness, saying that he won’t be part of this process if other people are allowed to break the rules. A few days later, they get the Honda account.
Is Apple making a TV? It sounds like they are. All the rumors point in that direction. And other companies like Sony are scrambling to “get ahead” of Apple and make their own TV based on what they think Apple is going to be making.
Since we’re speculating here, I’m going to say that Apple is going to catch the other companies flat-footed when they come out with the next Apple TV and not a television set at all. There, I said it.
What do you think? Is Apple really making a television?