Foxconn, the China-based manufacturing partner of Apple, is in the "trial production stage" of producing the Cupertino company's long-awaited television set, according to China Business News.
No further details were released. It goes without saying: take this with a pinch of salt.
What makes this interesting is that it comes only a fortnight after Foxconn chief executive Terry Gou said the company was "making preparations" for the forthcoming television, which was followed by a stern denial a few days later claiming that any reports were "inaccurate".
What may sound like a backtrack is at very least a case of "he said, she said."
Local publication China Daily, who reported the original claims, said the product would be dubbed 'iTV', which has already had the Telegraph suggesting the U.K. broadcaster with the same name could sue over the trademark, despite ITV's chief executive refuting such claims. The report said the television set would include feature an aluminium body, with voice-activated assistant Siri and FaceTime video calling.
One J.P. Morgan analyst said the Cupertino-based technology giant would not release a television set until 2014. Mark Moskowitz said Apple would need a "major pull factor". He also said his firm’s research "does not indicated any looming TV-related product launch".
However, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster was confident to claim the television set would be announced this year.
Munster said Apple could unveil the slightly-differently-named 'iHub' television set as soon as December, with the product going on sale in early 2013. He estimates Apple could take more than 10 percent of the market within 1--3 years after the launch.
December is an odd time to launch a product, particularly if the launch was set for the following month in January or February.
Looking at the other major product launches, the early months of the year, usually around March--April is generally when we get our hands on the latest iPad tablet set for a summer launch. During the middle-months of the year, typically around June--July, we are presented with the next iPhone, which is due in time for the Christmas holiday season.
A launch in January 2013 would the Christmas holiday sales patch --- crucial for end-of-year sales --- but also chips into 'depressing' January where most people can barely pinch the pennies together. For a television set to cost in the region of $1,500--$2,000, according to Munster, it will likely prove to be an impossible time for a product launch.
Apple was not available for comment.
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