Survey: 49% interested in an Apple TV, but not for $1,500

August 8, 2012, 2:39 PM UTC


FORTUNE — Two analysts — Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster and Barclay’s Ben Reitzes — filed notes Wednesday about Apple’s (AAPL) much-rumored TV product. No, not the $99 Apple TV set-top box the company actually sells, but the full-fledged Apple television set that Munster has been talking up since at least August 2009.

Reitzes, who expects Apple to unveil what he calls an integrated TV set in 2013 or possibly 2014, is concerned about the impact such a device might have on PC sales. “We know iPads cannibalize notebooks,” he writes. “Why aren’t investors talking about the potential cannibalization of desktops from an integrated TV?”

“We actually believe the market for consumer desktops could see pressure in the wake of an iTV product by 2014, much the same way that the overall notebook market’s growth slowed after the introduction of the iPad. The reason is that an Apple TV would represent an easy way to check email and the web as well as share photos (and even edit them in the same way as an iPhone/iPad can).”

Meanwhile Munster, who expects the Apple to introduce a TV set in 2013 for sure, put questions about it to 200 consumers in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area — a sample he says is representative of a population of 300 million with 95% confidence and a confidence interval of 7. Among his findings:

  • Nearly half (49%) of respondents claimed they were interested in buying an Apple-branded television set
  • 29% said they were not in the market for a new TV, but would enter it if Apple released an actual television — interrupting what is usually a 7-year TV product cycle
  • But only 12% said they were willing to pay the $1,500 Munster estimates the company would have to charge for a 42″ Apple-branded TV set
  • Asked how much they’d be willing to pay, the average response was $530.

There’s a big gap, Munster admits, between $530 and $1,500. But he’s encouraged by the fact that 12% of his respondents might be willing to go that high.

“While 12% seems small,” he writes, “it still moves the needle. If Apple gained 10% share of the U.S. TV market in FY14, as opposed to our surveyed 12%, TV sales would still add ~4% to our FY14 revenue estimates.”