Join top executives in San Francisco on July 11-12, to hear how leaders are integrating and optimizing AI investments for success. Learn More

Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the new Apple TV at a press event, March 7, 2012, in San Francisco.

There’s still plenty of buzz surrounding a potential Apple TV set, and now Forrester analyst James McQuivey is offering his own speculation: Apple should avoid taking on the big-screen HDTVs already in our living rooms, and instead offer a complementary smaller screen

“Apple should sell the world’s first non-TV TV,” McQuivey wrote in a blog post yesterday. While I’ve seen more than  enough Apple television speculation for this lifetime, McQuivey’s report is particularly intriguing to me since it aligns with my predictions from last summer.

“An Apple television would most likely serve as a secondary television set — under 30 inches, and ideal for bedrooms, kitchens and college dorm rooms — instead of elbowing for attention in the living room,” I wrote, based on the fact that it would be easier for Apple to compete in the small TV arena, and that it wouldn’t compete directly with the existing Apple TV set-top box (which remains Apple’s gateway to large TV sets).

Now, McQuivey’s take:

Instead of selling a replacement for the TV you just bought, Apple should convince millions of Apple fans that they need a new screen in their lives. Call it the iHub, a 32-inch screen with touch, gesture, voice, and iPad control that can be hung on the wall wherever the family congregates for planning, talking, or eating — in more and more US homes, that room is the dining room or eat-in kitchen. By pushing developers to create apps that serve as the hub of family life – complete with shared calendars, photo and video viewers, and FaceTime for chatting with grandma – this non-TV TV could take off, ultimately positioning Apple to replace your 60-inch set once it’s ready to retire.

While we’ve seen reports pointing to Apple readying some sort of large-screened television, there’s still nothing concrete yet. That’s a good thing, since I still think a big-screen Apple television set would be a huge mistake. With Sony and many other electronics giants bleeding money from their HDTV businesses, it doesn’t make much sense for Apple to jump into that maelstrom.

Photo: Heather Kelly/VentureBeat

VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Discover our Briefings.