Foxconn reportedly testing 46 to 55-inch Apple television sets

By , Dec 19, 2012

iTV under Christmas tree

A new rumor out from Apple’s supply chain in Asia has it that Foxconn, the world’s largest (and Apple’s favorite) contract manufacturer is testing some badass television panels with the shining Apple logo on them. But don’t get your hopes up high, because shipments of iTVs are unlikely to begin before 2014.

The rumor corroborates last week’s report by The Wall Street Journal claiming Apple is working with component suppliers in Asia to test several TV-set designs. Unnamed manufacturing sources also warn that the possibility of Apple using IGZO display panels from Sharp “is not high” as the firm is allegedly testing display panels ranging from 46 to 55 inches diagonally…

A recent survey by AlphaWise and Morgan Stanley taught us that more than half the respondents would be willing to pay a premium for an HD TV with the Apple logo on it. Tim Cook said in his interview with NBC that television remains “an area of intense interest” for the company.

Panel sizes (46 to 55 inches) could mean that Foxconn will not need to get its supply exclusively from Sharp. Instead, the story goes, Apple will source iTV panels from either Japanese or Taiwanese suppliers.

“We have not yet confirmed the LCD panel supply source with our client”, the source said.

Foxconn CEO Terry Gou recently acquired an ownership stake in Sharp’s cutting-edge Sakai plant which focuses on producing 60-inch LCD panels. Sharp recently launched a nice 32-inch IGZO monitor for pros with 4K resolution and announced its own tablets incorporating IGZO panels.

He paid for a 46.48 percent stake out of his own pocket and said the Sakai facility has an exclusive agreement with Corning on large panel supply “so our competitors won’t be able to secure any glass even if they want it”.

iTV mockup (AllThingsD 004)

Focus Taiwan, the country’s national news gathering organization, quoted Foxconn sources Wednesday saying that initial testing of Apple television sets is underway at Foxconn.

The source also predicted that Apple TV shipments could be huge and that new Apple TV-related products might be put on display at the well-known international consumer electronics trade fair, CES, to be held in Las Vegas in January.

Apple in the past avoided CES and instead made announcements at the MacWorld Expo, which runs each January. However, the company in 2010 announced it would no longer attend that trade show in order to focus on its own media events at its Cupertino campus.

With Tim Cook now in charge, Apple could be re-thinking its media strategy. After all, Cook is his own man and such a high-profile consumer electronics launch deserves a high-profile showing at the world’s top international consumer electronics trade fair.

Is this iTV thing getting closer to reality?

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  • http://www.geeksonhugs.com/ W. Anthony Tanas

    2014?! I’m in the market for a TV in 2013 :-(

    If anyone remembers me, I’m an Android dev and used to post here as a critic but just got a new iMac (third Apple product after being issued a Mac for my new job) . I am loving Apple design and build quality and I am head over heels for OSX – the best desktop OS on the planet – and ironically the absolute best platform for Android development. As for mobile OSes themselves Android still beats iOS though in sheer power (I’ve got a 5th gen iPod Touch and 4th gen iPad retina)…but iOS is great for my iTunes content and again Apple’s physical beauty and craftsmanship is amazing…i love the glass and a-loo-miny-um. :-) I enjoy simply looking at my Apple products sometimes.

    People underestimate the importance of design. I’m INTO my technology why should I not want it to be beautiful? I love my Samsung Galaxy Nexus, for it’s internals and software…but it is a mis-proportioned wedge of cheap plastic. I am amazed that no Android manufacturers haven’t thought to put money into design and materials? It’s obviously a winning idea.

    So anyway Apple TV? That’s a no brainer for me. I want one. I’ll still hook up a Google TV to it though hehe :-)

    • mervynraj

      i cant agree more with u… i love looking at apple’s design but their iOS to me is so outdated.. on the other hand i feel cheap holding an android phone but their OS is so much better… i wish google can make OS for apple lol :P

      • http://www.geeksonhugs.com/ W. Anthony Tanas

        I know totally. People have suggested this before and I was against it but maybe it’s a good idea: Google could develop their own hardware + software with Motorola. I’d still let others use Android but focus on putting out a great experience all around.

        BTW, once my iPod Touch is old I’m going to experiment and see if I can make an Android build to put on it. I know it’s been done in the past. However without serious work it would be massively unstable and really just something to play around with.

        iOS was a lot of fun for about a day and a half and then I was like, that’s it? I mean I still enjoy it but I felt like I learned everything to know about it as a user super quick. I guess that’s the idea. It’s still fun…for example Siri is not as powerful as Google Now but her personality is more fun to interact with.

        As a dev I’m going to experiment with writing some iOS apps (as well as OSX apps) soon, but one thing I know I’m not fond of in the iOS architecture is the lack of power given to apps. Like the first app I bought was to play Google Play music on iOS.

        I had a flight to go on so I set the app to download my music and it would dowload it for a few minutes in the background on it’s own but if it was not the active app I had to make sure to switch to it every 15 minutes to make sure it continued to download.

        I understand Apple’s philosophy but since they are approving apps they should let the devs have more power and then intervene if an app is doing something that is a problem. Simply downloading stuff in a background service shouldn’t be that restricted IMO.

        BTW, I have become a master at meshing iTunes and Google Play data back and forth. I might put up a web site for it, I think I figured out some good info that people can use. For one thing I was able to get my entire Google Play music collection (5000 songs) into iTunes. I figured out to consume most of my Google Play content on my Apple devices too. Now iTunes content on Android is another story but there are ways (sometimes involving cracking DRM restrictions).

    • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

      was said… IOS is getting very boring now..

  • http://www.facebook.com/adrian.andrews.180 Adrian Andrews

    The next TV I buy will be at least 55″ and have a resolution of 3840×2160.

  • http://twitter.com/myorangeisstuck wahaha

    I’m a hardcore apple fan, but I’m also a poor apple fan.

    • http://www.facebook.com/kooolaj Anuj Mali

      same here :(

      • http://www.geeksonhugs.com/ W. Anthony Tanas

        There should be a website where rich Apple fans can give their old Apple stuff to poor Apple fans. There are some insanely rich Apple customers out there.

      • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

        great idea

    • http://www.geeksonhugs.com/ W. Anthony Tanas

      Strong point. If you notice I got into Apple after my new job. As you can guess it’s a well paying job. I was self employed earlier and Apple was just to expensive to justify.

      Apple doesn’t want to risk it’s hip cache but I think they are at a critical mass of popularity where they should experiment a bit with some downmarket products or at least just some price cuts. They could find themselves reclaiming what was lost to MS in the 20th century and dominating PCs. Especially with their popularity with young people who would buy more Apple stuff if they could afford it.

      Why not a sub $1000 iMac? It could be done. And an iPod touch should not cost more than $200. I paid $300 for my 5th gen and that was the BASE model!

      The most insane pricing I have seen was on the SSD option for the iMac. I was going to get a loaded 27″ iMac with everything I wanted as my “dream” computer. But the SSD option alone was $1300! That’s one dollar more than the base iMac itself! So I ended up just getting the base model. I was prepared to spend $2,500 but not if it’s not everything I want. My dream iMac would be over FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS. Just for fun I played around with building a Mac Pro and was able to put one together for $17,000.

      I think for the worlds richest company some price cuts should be considered if not a few downmarket options for their younger/poorer fans.

      • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

        great post but human greed is such a powerful emotion i dont expect apple to ever give back to its loyal consumers by lowering prices..

    • http://twitter.com/n4nom4n brun.frigyes

      +1 :(

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

    thats to smal those are just big monitors… where is the 72 incher at?

    • http://www.geeksonhugs.com/ W. Anthony Tanas

      Hah, yah these days. I was considering the 27″ iMac and when i opened up my 21.5″ I thought that was a great size and the 27″ must be almost rediculous for a monitor. But I guess that’s the thing now.

      The thing about having a big TV is the size only really impresses you for a few days then it just becomes the norm. My brother had a 60″ TV and after a while it was just the TV. The main effect was that we were too spoiled to watch anyone else’s TV more than having a spectacular experience on ours.

      I’ll probably get the smallest offering if it’s starting in the 40s. Plus I never liked the giant TV idol as the central focus of your living space.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steven-Cannan/100000630162509 Steven Cannan

    45-55???? thats huge!

    • http://twitter.com/mdridwan Mohammad Ridwan

      It’s a TV. The bigger it is, the better the experience.

  • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

    Prediction: This is just gonna be an overpriced Samsung Smart TV with and Apple Logo on it.

  • http://twitter.com/BrandonyoSmith Brandon Smith

    First off I sell TVs for a living. Second, Android users please get off the blog. The iTV would sell like hell. Release this now! After looking at the display of the iPhone 5 I would let Apple drain my pockets with this TV. Damn