Foxconn reportedly begins pilot production of Apple TV set

Foxconn reportedly begins pilot production of Apple TV set

Summary: Chinese news sources seem to back up earlier claims made by Foxconn chief executive that the iPhone and iPad maker was preparing the production of an Apple-branded a television set.

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TOPICS: Apple
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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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Topic: Apple

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15 comments
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  • That's one heck of a hobby...

    Still, the old marketer thought it as a mere hobby. Would he deceive people, or use reverse psychology as means to drum up interest? Good marketers do find ways to use psychology to encourage people to do things for them...

    (A web search of "Apple TV Hobby" should spell out the results...)
    HypnoToad72
  • Still not convinced this is going to happen.

    However "IF" it is going to happen I do know this much. What ever Apple introduced as the Apple TV or iTV will not be just another TV it's not Apple's style to jump into a market with another device amongst many. What it will be I have no idea. What I do know is that Apple's been thinking about this for some time now and developing it for years now. Love it or hate it I know one thing for certain it should be interesting to say the least:)

    Pagan jim
    James Quinn
    • Apple plans to "retina" TV....

      I was also convinced this was not going to happen, but then I started to think about it some more and realized that Apple's "retina" campaign isn't finished yet. Next is the 15" MacBook with retina. And the giant shoe to drop after that is SHDTV (Super High Definition TV or whatever it will be called). Apple is the *only* company in the world in a position to make this happen. Not sure how they will come up with the bandwidth to make this happen over the Internet, but maybe they've got a fantastic codec ready that will make it work. Think about it... SHDTV could be *owned* by Apple. No one else has the clout to invent a new standard and get the world to use it. And then there is the tantalizing reference from Steve that he had "figured out TV". The path to domination could be through the resolution, with the "figured out" interface as the key to making it happen.
      eastmont
  • Not going to happen

    If Apple produces a TV, I'll eat my shorts.
    rossdav
    • That's a foolish comment

      Just incase Apple does something silly and introduces a 3880 by 2160 pixel display, and calls it the iTV.
      Jumpin Jack Flash
      • Where would the programming for such a high-def unit

        come from?

        Does anybody broadcast anything beyond 1080p? If the HD programming is not available to take advantage of the resolution you mentioned, then it would be overkill and foolish and easily predicted to fail.
        adornoe
      • Errrr

        Note that the name "iTV" previous exists already [in the UK]. Of course Apple could say that they copyrighted it 30 years ago. :-)
        Gisabun
  • Here we go again...

    I'll believe it when I see it, right now I think all of this falls into the Vaporware category. An Apple TV set. I can't see the benefit of that over a normal Apple TV set top box, or a basic Sony LED TV.
    DreyerSmit
    • Well.....

      Apple will just invent something that other TVs don't have like Siri and add it to the thing and charge an extra $750 for it. Just think of it. "Siri. Turn to channel 23 please and raise the volume by 10%". "Siri flip back and forward between channel 12 and 13 every 30 seconds." "Siri. where is my popcorn?" :-)
      Gisabun
  • I wonder...

    ...if websites stopped feeding the rumor mill with silliness until we had something credible about something tangible in the next quarter or two, would all this garbage go away? Certain things just can't be "Apple-ized". The iPod took something big and bulky (CD/tape player) and made it compact. The iPhone took something popular with business users (BBs) and put media consumption on it and created the iPhone. Realizing some people enjoyed consuming lots of media, the iPad was born.

    The TV has been around for decades and have progressively incorporated relevant technologies, gotten smaller in bulk while bigger in usable size. Samsung and others are implementing gesture/voice-control. You can hook up a Roku, AppleTV, XBox, PS3, Nintendo Wii, etc. and have access to apps. If Apple creates a touchscreen TV with DVR and apps built in, is that revolutionary? No. That's charging a premium for too many things that can break. Same reason people don't buy TVs with DVD/VCR/Bluray built in is the same reason an iTV or whatever is a joke.
    ikissfutebol
  • Wrong name!

    I heard that Apple TV will be called iDuh
    paul2011
  • $1500-$2000 will be for the high-end users, and it will be

    a 32 inch or less screen. The bigger HD Apple TVs will cost more than $3000 and will be put out of the range of most consumers. But, like anything else Apple puts out, there will be Apple fanatics lining up for 20 blocks or more to get one.

    BTW, that Apple TV will be a super-sized iPad 3s, which already have better resolution than most TVs out now.

    Programming and how one interacts with the device is where it might try to differentiate itself, but, other than that, the programming/content won't be any better than what's out there now.
    adornoe
    • even worse

      the programming/content will be censored by the Apple store. There will be no politically flaming topics, 15-15th century European art, or ol??? good $$orn. What about my home movies? Oops, I am out of luck too since they were not approved by Apple store to be viewed on the Apple device.
      The problem is that it may be true. I recall right before iPad showed up everybody was laughing at the Onion???s ???Apple Introduces Revolutionary New Laptop With No Keyboard??? skit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BnLbv6QYcA
      pupkin_z
  • Apple should be smarter than that. It would be big blunder if they do.

    Apple knows that most people have a large HDTV already. Why build their next iDEVICE into a TV? They don't even have enough room in there ever so chic Apple Stores to display them let alone stock them. Then their is size, no one will buy a $1000 32" display. Plus the size would need to be around 46 to 50 to compete with even current Smart TVs. Apple TV already can be used with Just about any TV, the Mac Mini the low end mac desktop had an HDMI output. It's just far easier and practical to make an Apple TV device that is a complete iOS device with the power and and apps to replace a home computer. Disguise it as the new third competitor in the video game department. Sony is on a downward spiral, Nintendo's WiiU is going to be another niche machine unlike the phenom Wii. Xbox 360 is domainat in US markets but have a much lower presence in Asian markets. Apple can steal everyones thunder and release system that will Revolutionize the home computer and home entertainment world wide.
    Bakabaka
  • Just think

    We have grown accustomed to the 'old' way a television works. There are many things that could be much better.
    More picture in picture support, immediate volume control instead of painfully stepping with the remote, better interfacing with internet services, Siri and FaceTime (or Skype) as mentioned, inbuilt PVR functionality, inbuilt tuning assistance, inbuilt DVD or Bluray drive, synchronised with other TVs in the house (if required), auto-sensing background volume (phone ringing, doorbell ringing, etc), low power usage, easier to clean, easier to connect to varying qualities of external speakers, wireless presentations from laptops (and mobile devices), enough pixel count to be a good computer screen, and on and on it goes. Some newer TVs are making inroads to these areas, but they are painting over the cracks rather than building a new wall.
    It's called a TV but it will be a paradigm shift. It will lack features initially, because they will not be incorporated until they actually work really well, all the time. You know - "Just Work!"
    zdnet@...