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Apple could be working on television

A new job listing says the company's looking for people who know about power supply for, among other gadgets, televisions. Could the Apple TV finally be ready to morph into an Apple-branded television?

Is Apple working on turning Apple TV into an Apple-branded television from a tiny set-top box?
Is Apple working on turning Apple TV into an Apple-branded television from a tiny set-top box? Apple

We know Apple already sells Apple TV. But it might be working on an another kind of Apple TV--as in an Apple-branded television, not a set-top box that hooks up to your TV.

Eagle-eyed bloggers at 9to5 Mac noticed a job listing today that Apple posted that leaves little doubt it's something the company is at least exploring.

The listing asks, rather benignly, for someone who wants to work on "new power management designs and technologies." But in what will Apple use this new power-management technology? The listing goes on to say that it will be used for "Apple's next-generation Macintosh platforms spanning from notebook computers, desktop computers, servers, standalone displays, and TV."

It's safe to say that if Apple were going to advertise a job listing to work on generic product types, it would use the term set-top box or something similar to describe Apple TV in its current incarnation, since "TV" in any other context refers to a display, not a box. But it specifically says "TV."

Making and selling a TV really wouldn't be that much of a stretch for Apple. Everyone has a television, so there's a built-in set of customers already. Apple makes some of the most well-regarded monitors on the market, and what are monitors but (basically) TVs without a TV antenna? Plus, Apple's got a growing video empire in iTunes, and though it likes to call it a hobby, with Apple TV it shows the company is interested in being in the living room, not just the office, car, coffee shop, or your backpack or purse.

You might wonder, rightly, who in their right mind would want to enter the television business these days. Rapid commodification, easily copied features, and being forced to find new ways to display content that make people buy a new TV every couple years (HD, 3D, Internet-connected TVs) all make it a rough industry to be in right now.

Of course the same could be said about PCs and mobile phones, but Apple has demonstrated it knows how to reap profits in both those industries in ways its competitors haven't.