Why Foxconn must ensure survival of cash-strapped Sharp

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 6, 2012

Though the world’s largest product assembler Foxconn is taking advantage of Sharp’s financial woes, the company will want to offer a lifeline to the struggling Japanese giant, not just because it’s one of the suppliers of mobile displays for iPhones and iPads, but also because Apple is seeking to reduce its dependency on Samsung, the world’s largest maker of flat displays. That’s the crux of today’s report by Bloomberg, which also mentions the inevitable Apple television set rumor… Read More

 

CBS CEO says the network is open to Apple TV deal

By Cody Lee on Aug 3, 2012

Yesterday, during the network’s earnings call, CBS CEO Les Moonves responded to an analyst’s question regarding his willingness to do business with Apple. As expected, his answer fell somewhere along the lines of, “Sure, as long as it’s on our terms.”

The question came in wake of the recent addition of the Hulu Plus service to Apple TV. Now that executives have hashed out that seemingly impossible deal, a lot of folks seem to have a “the sky’s the limit” attitude towards the Apple TV platform… Read More

 

Foxconn rethinking its Sharp investment amid the sunset of Japan’s TV biz

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 3, 2012

Japanese giants once used to rule the consumer electronics landscape but no more. Even the TV set making biz, once the pinnacle of the “made in Japan” industry, has been declining rapidly due to strong competitive pressure from South Korea, the home to Samsung, the world’s largest TV maker.

Foxconn, an assembly company, in March announced intentions to purchase an eleven percent stake in Sharp, a manufacturer. Pundits and industry execs saw the move as laying the groundwork for a mass-scale production of a rumored Apple television set as Foxconn also agreed to buy a 46.48 percent stake in Sharp’s cutting-edge (though underutilized) LCD plant in Sakai in western Japan, a big loss maker for the company.

Even though Foxconn has helped Sharp weather some of the storm ahead, the company needs more help. Banks, however, are unwilling to issue new loans and Foxconn just decided to renegotiate the terms of its purchase of Sharp’s shares. The best bit: Foxconn has yet to produce the money for that deal… Read More

 

Serious about television, Google launches Fiber TV service in Kansas City

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 26, 2012

Wow, this will come as a surprise to all but seasoned commentators who’ve been watching Google putting various pieces of the puzzle into place. They call it Fiber TV and it launched today alongside Google’s fiber-optic Internet service in Kansas City. For starters, Google Fiber pumps data a hundred times faster than today’s average broadband.

With gigabit speeds you get a very advanced television which lets you record up to 500 hours of programming and up to eight shows at once, including Netflix access and all of YouTube. A combined gigabit Internet package with Fiber TV service will run you $120 a month. This is real TV, folks, with premium programming, a full channel lineup and optional paid content.

Opting for just gigabit Internet will set you back $70 a month with a one-year contract. Google won’t throttle your speed or impose bandwidth caps and is sweetening the deal with a free 1TB Google Drive. Heck, you can even get gigabit Internet for free by paying for a one-time $300 construction fee. As an icing on the cake, Google is throwing a free Nexus 7 tablet with each Fiber TV subscription… Read More

 

Smart TV alliances reportedly being formed over iTV rumors

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 21, 2012

Rumors that Apple is eyeing HD TV set making biz have persisted for a couple years now, but no solid iTV evidence surfaced thus far apart from Jobs’ vague “I finally cracked it” quote from Walter Isaacson’s bio book.

But even a mere idea of Apple setting its sights on the television market has baffled incumbents undertaking precautionary measures.

As indicated in a report out of Asia yesterday, some makers have started making smart TV alliances out of fear that Apple might take the television market by surprise just as it’s done with the music market and, to a certain extent, with high-end smartphones… Read More

 

iOS 6 beta 3 brings new AirPlay feature to Apple TV

By Cody Lee on Jul 18, 2012

On Monday, Apple seeded the third beta of iOS 6 to developers. The update includes bug fixes, added stability and a handful of new features.

Apparently, among those additions is a new AirPlay feature for the Apple TV. In iOS 6, users will have the ability to stream audio from their set-top boxes to external AirPlay-enabled speakers… Read More

 

Former Chimei Innolux president says Foxconn’s Sharp deal is for iTV

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 29, 2012

According to a former executive from Taiwanese supply chain, Foxconn’s recent investments into the Japanese electronics giant Sharp and its cutting-edge display factory is in fact part of preparations for a large-scale manufacturing of a rumored Apple television set, dubbed by the media the iTV… Read More

 

iOS 6 Beta lets you reorder Apple TV icons. Apps coming?

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 27, 2012

Earlier this morning we told you about a note by Apple pundit John Gruber who challenged BGR editor Jonathan Geller’s false report that Apple would release a software development kit for the Apple TV at WWDC, effectively opening up the $99 set-top box to third-party apps.

The rumor never came to be and Gruber noted in his trademark style that “something big is going on with Apple TV in Cupertino” (but it’s still being cooked, if I may add). An interesting new video evidence released today by the Brazilian blog MacMagazine has strengthened the belief that third-party apps are likely coming to the Apple TV… Read More

 

Gruber: “something big is going on with Apple TV in Cupertino”

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 27, 2012

Apple’s $99 set-top box is of limited use unless you of course jailbreak it. This might change soon, at least to a certain extent, a well-informed pundit has suggested. Apple last refreshed the little hockey puck in March of this year, with new features such as full HD (1080p) video support, a revamped interface and a tweaked A5 chip withRead More

 

Brightcove outs SDK for dual-screen Apple TV apps as Google TV update looms

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 26, 2012

The epic battle for the living room is about to get a lot more interesting in a matter of days. Brightcove, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-headquartered online video platform provider, today released its App Cloud platform on an open-source basis. The SDK lets content owners create dual-screen apps that stream high-definition video to a television set through an Apple TV and AirPlay protocol.

While streaming, these apps can render a bunch of useful information on your iPhone or iPad, turning your iOS device into a glorified remote control of sorts. Meanwhile, Google is expected to issue a significant update to the Google TV platform at its upcoming developers conference tomorrow, said to give the Apple TV a run for its money… Read More

 

Sharp to begin delivering cutting-edge iTV panels to Foxconn in Q3 2012

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 21, 2012

Back in May, a report quoted Foxconn CEO Terry Gou as saying his company was “making preparations” to assemble a full-blown television set for Apple. It proved bogus when Foxconn issued a statement claiming Gou “neither confirmed nor speculated about Foxconn’s involvement in the production of any product”, but such an ambiguously worded denial only added fuel to fire.

According to a new rumor by Chinese news site 21cbh.com (via AppleInsider), based on talks with a Sharp executive and other sources at the company, Sharp will begin delivering LCD television panels to Foxconn in the third quarter of this year, for the specific purpose of assembling Apple television sets… Read More

 

Foxconn wants more Sharp shares, aims to beat Samsung displays on clearness

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 18, 2012

In another hint that Hon Hai Precision Industry, also known in the Western world as Foxconn, could be gearing up for mass production of a rumored Apple television set, Reuters now reports that Foxconn is in talks with the Japanese multinational corporation Sharp about increasing its stake.

This is interesting development as Foxconn in March bought an eleven percent stake in Sharp worth $844 million. The two companies now run Sharp’s cutting-edge display plant in Sakai, Osaka, leading some to speculate that Foxconn made the move on behalf of its biggest customer, Apple of California, which has long been rumored to be readying production of a full-blown television set, which Foxconn publicly deniedRead More

 

Analyst: iTV to sport iPad-like touchscreen remote and motion detection

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 11, 2012

An analyst wrote in a research note today, based on his supply chain checks, that he expected Apple’s rumored television set to feature a Kinect-like motion sensing and a new kind of remote that resembles the iPad and relies heavily on touch gestures.

He also believes Apple will launch an iPad mini in September, alongside the next iPhone… Read More

 

Roundup: what’s on tap for WWDC 2012 tomorrow

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 10, 2012

With iOS 6 being the main theme of tomorrow’s keynote, Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook, iOS boss Scott Forstall and marketing head honcho Phil Schiller (aka Mini-Me and Dr. No) will likely share stage time to announce the latest in Apple’s mobile operating system powering the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Feeling excited yet?

We’re also keeping our eyes peeled for the latest iPhone and Apple TV developments and are expecting shiny new commercials (hopefully they do better than latest celebrity adverts), plus the usual dose of Apple’s trademark one-liners, superlatives and hyperbolas.

Here’s what we’re looking forward to, some of the stuff we’ve been keeping our fingers crossed for and what the rumor-mill predicted would go down tomorrow… Read More

 

Apple TV SDK to launch at WWDC: apps finally coming to your telly

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 8, 2012

A new report published this morning claims that Apple will seed developers with a brand new Apple TV software development kit (SDK) as early as its annual developers conference which kicks off with a San Francisco keynote next Monday.

Conceivably, the goal of the SDK would be to foster growth of the third-party app ecosystem around the Apple TV, the $99 set-top box which remains closed to app developers (unless you jailbreak, that is)… Read More

 

Apple to unveil its television set at WWDC next Monday, analyst predicts

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 7, 2012

After peering into his crystal ball, Jefferies & Company analyst Peter Misek conjured up a major prediction for Apple’s rumored HD TV set which, according to Misek, will be announced during a keynote which will kick off Apple’s annual developers conference in San Francisco next Monday at 10am PT.

Yes, this is the same guy who back in April said the iTV, as the media calls the rumored Apple-branded TV set, will be actually called the iPanel. We’ll leave it up to you to draw conclusions… Read More

 

AirPlay and apps will set iTV apart, says Brightcove CEO

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 4, 2012

Brightcove founder, chairman and CEO Jeremy Allaire shares some interesting observations regarding Apple’s rumored full-blown television set that the industry is anxiously anticipating.

The biggest feature and key differentiating factor won’t be the display nor industrial design for that matter. Instead, the iTV should be treated as yet another screen to run the enhanced iOS computing platform. Content?

Don’t count on Apple beating cable companies to the programming punch. Instead, Allaire observes, the more than 500,000 apps and AirPlay technology are Apple’s two key advantages that will help set iTV apart… Read More

 

Munster on iTV: ‘if’ has been decided and now the question is ‘when’

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 1, 2012

Riding on his iTV  predictions, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster wrote in a note to clients today that a number of factors, including Tim Cook’s D10 talk earlier this week, have led him to confidently assume that a full-fledged television set from Apple is a now a matter of ‘when’, not ‘if’.

He is expecting iTV models ranging from 42 inches to 55 inches, costing between $1,500 and $2,000. Apple will announce its standalone television set later this year, he speculated, with general availability six months later… Read More

 

Rumor: Apple launching feature-complete Apple TV software for iTV at WWDC

By Christian Zibreg on May 30, 2012

According to a new report, Apple is readying a much more feature-complete version of the operating system that drives its Apple TV set-top box.

Sources tell it’s also bound to power that rumored HD TV set. It wasn’t immediately clear from the report whether the enhanced OS will also support the $99 hockey puck and how it might tie with iOS 6.

The company will allegedly launch it at the upcoming WWDC developers conference in San Francisco which begins with a keynote on June 11 at 10am PST… Read More

 

Apple allegedly began assembly of iTV prototypes

By Christian Zibreg on May 28, 2012

According to a report out today from Chinese-language China Business News based on “informed sources”, Apple this month allegedly begun producing the first prototypes of its rumored HD TV set. As the first batch of iTVs get assembled, Cupertino is said to be ramping up production later this year… Read More