Apple already has all of the tools it needs to improve its presence in the TV industry, according to one expert, who has said the iPad could play a bigger role.
Despite most of the recent speculation focusing on a fully fledged HDTV, Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes said a link-up between existing iOS devices and the Apple TV set-top box could be just as important.
He claimed the iCloud storage platform and the iPad's virtual keyboard could play nice with a new interface on the set-top box to create a TV command center, meaning Apple wouldn't even have to launch an HD set.
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He said: "With iCloud, we don't see any reason why Apple wouldn't eventually allow an iPad to be an interface for the TV - to perform basic computing tasks with a virtual keyboard like checking emails and calendars, surfing websites, editing your PhotoStream and even chat with iMessage.
"These tasks would clearly infringe further on tasks usually earmarked for desktops and laptops - and the iPad and Apple TV combination doesn't even require Apple to get into the TV market."
Finding the right partner
Of course, the functionality mentioned by the analyst already exists to some extent thanks to AirPlay Mirroring.
This allows whatever appears on the iPad's screen to be viewed through Apple TV, but any new interface would need to go much further.
Reitzes added that he does think that Apple will eventually enter the standalone flatscreen market, but only when the company is able to reach accords with content providers, which so far has proved problematic.
"Over time we expect Apple will want to get into the TV market, but not until it is able to negotiate a service offering for TV - building on iTunes and iOS - that revolutionizes the market for enjoying content and computing in one platform," he told AllThingsD.
"We believe Apple will be patient until it finds the right cable TV partner to work with to promote this vision."