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If Apple really is planning its own HDTV (the rumored "iTV") for late this year or early 2013, it's timing may be impeccable. The HDTV market will surge more than 10% next year, according to Global Information Inc. (www.giresearch.com).
During much of the first half of 2012, revenue from the LCD HD television segment -- the most widespread HDTV technology in the world -- remained poor. While some of this could be blamed on weaker than expected consumer demand and over-saturation, the primary problem for LCD manufacturers has been the rise of ultra-low cost production in places such as China, which has undercut already meager margins on LCD screens.
What's more, falling costs on alternate technologies including LED, OLED, and 3D TVs, is also leading some consumers away. In fact, with the exceptions of Samsung and LG, which benefit from a more competitive pricing model, every other supplier, including Sharp, Toshiba, and Sony, all turned in losses in their respective LCD HDTV segments during the first half of the year, according to Global Information.
However, heading into the second half of the year, increased consumer spending and the back-to-school and holiday shopping seasons suppliers are now focusing on these higher margin new technologies, according to the research group. If Global Information -- and the iTV rumors -- are right, Apple may be just in time to capitalize on renewed television set sales.
-- Dennis Sellers