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'Apple HDTV' imagined in Best Buy survey: 42-inch model for $1,499 (updated)

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Best Buy appears to be sending surveys to customers getting feedback on potential new products and services — something that virtually every consumer-facing company does on a regular basis — but one thing stood out this time around: the very first product in this survey that Best Buy asks about is the oft-rumored Apple iTV, identified here as the "Apple HDTV." The big box wants to know how you feel about it based on some proposed promotional verbiage which boasts that "Apple finally reinvents what a TV can do," saying that it'll run iOS, support iCloud, be controllable from an iPhone or iPad, and have access to Netflix, YouTube, and Flickr — in other words, it's an Apple TV wrapped in an actual television set, exactly as you'd expect.

Slightly stranger, though, is that Best Buy says it'll have an "iSight" camera — a brand Apple hasn't actively used in some time for its webcams — and that it'll be ready for Skype, which probably isn't the way Cupertino would want to position the TV's video call capabilities with FaceTime on deck. Best Buy pegs the set at 42 inches and slaps a $1,499 price tag on it, a fairly hefty premium over models from top tier manufacturers in the same size class; even many 46-inch models retail for less.

Though we were originally sent a screen shot of the survey from an anonymous tipster, we've been able to verify that the survey does exist. Furthermore, it's administered by Confirmit, a Norwegian research firm known to count Best Buy as a client, so that lends a sense of legitimacy. A larger question remains, though: is Best Buy speaking with knowledge, or is it just riffing to get a sense of customer interest in a purely theoretical Apple television? Our guess is that it's nothing more than a shot on the dark, particularly considering the iSight and Skype mentions. Other questions in the survey gauge interest in a $10 home delivery service, scheduled appointments with Best Buy Mobile agents, and discounts on home theater bundles — not as interesting, granted, but far more "real" than the iTV at this point.

Update: Best Buy has confirmed our suspicions in a statement to Wired:

The customer survey was a routine offer effectiveness survey conducted by one of Best Buy’s research partners. Any brand reference was hypothetical. The survey is no longer available.


The Verge
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