Apple IS going into the TV business

Icahn: Apple will do a TV
Icahn: Apple will do a TV   

Contrary to an article in the Wall Street Journal, we at Destination Wealth Management believe Apple will be moving to the television market in a very big way. We believe this figures strongly in Apple's future business plans and that entry into this space will neatly fit into the continued expansion of the Apple ecosystem.

You need to be clear as an investor what the definition of TV really is. For example, when you buy a computer you need to be clear what a computer really is. Is a computer the central-processing unit and control function or is it the commodity monitor provided to you when you buy a CPU? Our contention is that a computer is not the mouse or the keyboard or the monitor — it's the CPU.

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According to sources in Silicon Valley familiar with Apple's thinking, Apple will enter into the television market in a huge way by providing an upgraded Apple TV CPU hub combined with a unique controller. It is likely to include both Siri voice recognition as well as a touch-pad interface that could also include force touch. Additionally, the company will continue to expand into programming to replace the revenue streams lost because of the changes in music retail purchase preferences.

Whether or not Apple will provide a monitor to go with this Apple TV initiative is subject to debate and frankly irrelevant. Apple will be happy selling you the brains of the TV and let you buy a compatible monitor from a whole list of vendors fighting it out to capture market share in this low margin product space.

What business would you like to be in if you were CEO of Apple as it relates to the TV space? Would you like to be in a low margin monitor business or would you like to be selling the brains of the TV, the interface device, and a connected platform to mobile? I suspect the latter.

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Apple desire to provide TV monitors has clearly waned; The Wall Street Journal is not wrong in their reporting on that issue. But semantics are confusing the narrative as I strongly believe Apple is very much still in the TV game. TV defined by Apple will be the brain, the interface, and an alternative content platform to compete with Netflix.

Perspective and definitions matter. That is clearly the case when reading about Apple's ambition in the television realm. Apple is in the TV game.

Commentary by Michael A. Yoshikami, the CEO and founder of Destination Wealth Management in Walnut Creek, California. He is also a CNBC contributor.

Disclosure: Michael Yoshikami owns shares of Apple but no other stocks mentioned in this article. Destination Wealth Management may buy Apple and Netflix for clients.

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