Here's what I do: I cull the vast landscape of Apple hearsay, rip the absolutely asinine ideas and put all of my firepower behind the good ones. Is that an objective process? Probably not.
And, trust me, we're all better off for it. I would bore the living hell out of you (and me) if I tried to play the role of impartial and unbiased observer.
So, in my world, Brian White, an analyst at Topeka Capital Markets, is a bright young man worthy of our affection. I read over his note from Wednesday last night where he predicts:
iTV will be an actual television set, around 60 inches diagonal at a cost between $1,500 and $2,500.
It will come with mini-iTVs that allow you to send video and perform other functions wirelessly throughout your household (just imagine the possibilities).
A device White calls 'iRing' will navigate iTV with the point of a finger.
Apple will integrate its iWatch product with iTV, eliminating the need to carry a smartphone around the house.
So, oh, well, whatever, nevermind. I'm not going to hold White to each of these points. The details don't mean much to me at this juncture. It's the approach Apple decides to take that I'm paying attention to.
It must come through on several counts, but, right now the top two are:
1. As it did with iPad mini, Apple needs to deliver a premium-priced product. It didn't make the elfin iPad out of plastic and charge $199 for it. I knew it wouldn't. I hope rumors about lower-priced, plastic iPhones prove untrue. Along similar lines, I want a $2,000 television product from Apple, not some cheap imitation of what already exists. This might be more important than selling units. Tim Cook needs to show the world he's not turning Apple into a slum retailer.
2. Apple must focus. Don't believe the hype. Apple is a hardware company. It makes beautiful, easy-to-use, relatively expensive hardware. It's not a software company. It's not a content company. It's not your cable provider. It's not hoarding cash to sign multi-billion content deals with Disney . It's not Netflix for goodness sake. It's Apple.
If Tim Cook launches an expensive, aspirational iTV that takes the user experience of the living room to a whole 'nother level, Apple wins. At the very least, it restores the confidence so many of us -- and certainly big money Wall Streeters -- have lost since Steve Jobs's death ushered in this era of uncertainty.
--Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.