May 14, 2012
Did Foxconn Just Admit To The Rumored Apple TV?
Michael Harper for RedOrbit.com
It´s been the most hotly debated Apple rumor since the iPad and the iPhone, and so far the talk has refused to die down.
It´s the Apple Television Set, or the new Apple TV, or the somewhat predictable and shudder-worthy “iTV,” and ever since Steve Jobs mentioned in his biography that he had finally “cracked it,” meaning he had figured out a way to revolutionize the television and broadcast industries, it's been the subject of the rumor mill. Of course, we have no idea what this means. He could have figured out a new way to implement the current Apple TV offerings, or he could have devised a plan to get the networks to agree to a deal he was working on.
We all know Jobs was quite the visionary, so it´s likely we´re selling him a bit short when we try to predict what “cracked it” means, and the only person who may know exactly what Jobs was talking about, Issacson, Jobs´ biographer, isn´t talking.
This hasn´t worked to quell any of the talking, however, as English-language Chinese newspaper China Daily released a story yesterday claiming Foxconn factories were gearing up and expecting to be producing the new television devices. For the record, they´re going with the name “iTV.”
According to the newspaper, Terry Gou, an executive at Foxconn, the company is standing by and waiting to produce these magically rumored Apple Television sets. Apple, however, hasn´t given them any official orders to start yet.
Gou´s statements about the possible Apple TV come at the end of a story about Foxconn´s plans to enter into distribution through e-commerce.
Gou also throws his weight behind the safe and predictable aspects of the rumors, saying the new Apple TV will be made of aluminum, and will feature the voice-control of Siri and the video conferencing of FaceTime.
Adding some credibility to this rumor is Gou´s mention of Sharp in the production of these TVs.
Rumors have also been circulating about a Foxconn-Sharp partnership in making these new Apple TVs, and Apple has been expected to take advantage of Sharp´s new Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide (IGZO) panels.
Late last month, Foxconn purchased 10% of shares in Sharp , totaling $808 million, to help keep the display makers afloat. Sharp has previously been called upon to make displays for iPhones and iPads, and as Foxconn is the top manufacturer for Apple, such a move could signal a new device or Apple simply tightening up their supply chain.
It is still widely unknown if Apple will produce such a TV, and if so, if they will release it this year or next.
It´s interesting to note that whenever such a device is mentioned, it´s usually referred to as a “revolutionary new device,” and only afterwards is the connection between the device and the TV drawn. Should these new reports be true, it could also point to a release of such a device next year, instead of this year. If Apple wanted to release a new TV set in the third quarter, it´s likely they´d already be in production by now.