Supply chain chatter claims Apple is building 4K ‘Ultra HD’ TV set

By , Mar 26, 2013

iTV mockup (Martin Hajek 002)

It’s been a while since we’ve heard any new information regarding Apple’s rumored TV project. It seems ‘iTV’ speculation has been replaced by talk of Apple’s secret plans for the smartwatch space, and its expected entry into the budget handset market.

But that changed this evening with a new report out of China, claiming that Apple has been in discussions with Foxconn over the production schedule of a TV set. And the 4K ‘Ultra HD’ television will finally land in either late 2013, or early next year…

DigiTimes reports:

“Apple is reportedly continuing to develop a TV rumored to be called the iTV, which is likely to support Ultra HD (3840 by 2160) along with voice and motion control functions and Internet connectivity, according to industry supply chain sources.

The sources said that Apple and Foxconn Electronics have been in discussions for quite some time in terms of the TV’s mass production schedule, but that Apple has been considering where panel supply for the TV will come from, as Ultra HD TV panel makers, most of whom are based in Taiwan, are expected to be producing at nearly full capacity in 2013 in order to meet demand from China-based TV vendors.”

The report goes on to say that Apple is banking on LG Display for most of its 4K panel production, and is hoping it will be able to mass produce them by the second half of the year. If it is, Apple is expected to unveil its television in late 2013, or early 2014.

As always, it’s worth noting that DigiTimes has a hit-and-miss track record with Apple intel. So while it has proven on a number of occasions to have reliable supply chain sources—particularly in display panel lines—their reports do come with an asterisk.

And of course, critics maintain that Apple has no interest in televisions, as the life cycle on a TV set is far longer than that of a smartphone or tablet, and the margins are considerably worse. So many of them are calling for an external set top box instead.

Looking back, the last credible report regarding Apple’s TV set came back in December, when The Wall Street Journal said it was testing prototype television designs with Asian suppliers. “It isn’t a formal project yet. It is still in the early stage of testing.”

Before that though, there were numerous reports. In fact, we’ve heard so many at this point that it’s hard to get excited. But assuming it’s really coming, Apple’s biggest obstacle with the 4K set will be its price tag. Right now, most 4K TVs cost at least $20,000.

Image credit: Martin Hajek

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  • Mustang5Oh

    As stated in the final line 4k TVs are way too expensive right now. This would be a waste of time for Apple currently.

    • Kaptivator

      Maybe or maybe not. What if they make something affordable for the consumer and have the content to support it? It only takes one company to lower the prices and all the rest have to fall in line or fall by the wayside. Apple has the capital to do it and still make a profit. Of course, this is wishful thinking.

  • Goku63

    Way, Way , Way ,Way (and a thousand Ways)… too much expensive!!!!
    Comeon apple, we can switch for Samsung smart tv for the features and get it for Way, Way, Way too much cheap!
    I am a apple fan, but as for tv, I gotta switch to samsung and shit.

  • http://twitter.com/YzMENTALzY YzMENTALzY

    Maybe apple are on to something here maybe they sell it cheaper than other 4K Tv’s and get a headstart on the 4K market. But heres hoping

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    • Ted Forbes

      Thats cool, but your price is to high, I get my at&t iPhones unlock online for $13 the same day

  • iDon’tWantToShareMyDetails

    I can’t see why would anyone buy a 4k TV when the majority of the TV providers give you 720p. There are no movies, there’s nothing that can look decent on a 4K TV.

    • http://twitter.com/Antoniogzzx whT!

      agree with you.

  • Ted Forbes

    I like TV but not that much to spend thousands.

  • http://twitter.com/Chindavon Chindavon

    Too early for 4K tvs, BUT, if they want to start a 4K movement, Apple is the perfect company to kick it off to the masses. Then everyone will fall in line as usual.

    • http://www.facebook.com/tafk1 Taf Khan

      Very true, before Apple who else did the retina display? Now everyone is packing in the pixels.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tafk1 Taf Khan

    Not sure about the name iTV as this is a TV channel in the uk and most likely elsewhere also. The name ATV sounds just fine.

    Don’t want dubious uk judges who really work for Samsung to award damages against apple now do we.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Zeljko-Nikolic/1646404156 Zeljko Nikolic

      its name will be “The New Tv” hehe.maybe Siri Tv,iSiri.Dont take my domains!I want to sue Apple! :-)

    • http://twitter.com/Chindavon Chindavon

      How about iView, or iCinema

  • Jairo

    I guarantee the 1st gen apple tv won’t be 4k resolution.

    Have people forgotten how cheap Apple is?

    the ipad mini STILL doesn’t have retina display!!