May 15, 2012
Turns Out Foxconn Didn’t Break The News About A New Apple TV
Michael Harper for RedOrbit.com
It seemed unbelievable at first when news broke over the weekend that a Foxconn CEO had “officially” announced the new, rumored Apple TV device. To those who have been following Apple for any length of time, such a story reeked of something fishy.
Now, Foxconn has written an official statement to The Next Web saying they absolutely did not confirm an Apple TV was in the works.
In the written statement, Foxconn has said their CEO, Terry Gou, had “neither [confirmed] nor [speculated] about Foxconn´s involvement in the production of any product,” adding that it is company policy “not to comment on any customers or their products.”
It makes sense, doesn´t it? The rumored Apple TV has been the talk of the year thus far, with most reports revolving around the same specifications: Siri integration, FaceTime, made of aluminum, looks like an iMac.
But why would Gou choose now, and the English-speaking China Daily to announce their involvement in production of the new device, and at the bottom of an article largely dedicated to an announcement of Foxconn´s shift to distribution and e-commerce?
Furthermore, the China Daily article says Foxconn was “preparing” to make what they called the “iTV,” but that no official orders had come from Cupertino as of yet. It makes sense that the company would want to be prepared, of course, when their largest customer comes knocking on their door and asks them to make the “revolutionary device” that´s been on everyone´s lips this year. Of course Foxconn is “getting ready.” They can´t be caught on their heels when the time comes to make millions of these devices.
And they will make millions of devices. The fact that Foxconn was supposedly still waiting for Apple´s go-ahead was a major red flag that the story wasn´t completely factual. If Apple was planning on entering the TV market this holiday season, as many of the rumors suggest they will, wouldn´t they already be in production, stocking up as many devices as they could?
Even beyond all these little discrepancies which made this original story a bit hard to swallow was the fact that Apple would never allow another CEO to disclose their future plans for them.
The one aspect of the story that made some sense was the mention of Sharp being called upon to make displays for the rumored Apple TV. Foxconn now owns half of Sharp´s display business, so it makes sense they would not only want Sharp to succeed but throw them as much work as they could.
For their part, Foxconn has said in their written statement to The Next Web that they are “always prepared to meet the manufacturing needs of customers should they determine that they wish to work with Foxconn in the production of any of their products.”
While Foxconn has been the source of a few product leaks, news coming from high above about the new product didn´t ring true. For instance, three Foxconn employees were charged last April for leaking the design of the then new iPad 2 to third-party accessory makers.
Additionally, an early 64 GB iPhone prototype also ended up on a website thanks to a Foxconn employee leak.
However, both of these leaks came from lower level employees, not from the top man himself.