Foxconn readying iTV manufacturing using Sharp’s cutting-edge display plant, CEO hints

Apple is working on a much-anticipated full-blown television set, Foxconn CEO hinted in a Friday interview with a Chinese newspaper. It should feature an aluminum body, Siri voice commands and a sophisticated camera for FaceTime video calling. Foxconn is the world’s largest contract manufacturer and Apple’s favorite partner that gets commissioned to assemble their products.

Oh, and remember when Foxconn recently acquired an eleven percent stake in Japanese giant Sharp? The deal led to a 50-50 joint venture concerning Sharp’s cutting-edge display plant. Well, that was “one of the preparations made for the new device”, Foxconn CEO said.

One of the preparations could also be Apple buying a stake in Foxconn. Also important, as we explained Apple is likely interested to tap Sharp’s technology to produce Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide (IGZO) panels for own-branded television set…

NOTE: the story has been updated with the official comment by a Foxconn spokesperson found at the article bottom.

According to English-language daily newspaper China Daily, Foxconn CEO Terry Gou indirectly confirmed than an Apple-branded television set is in the works.

Gou said Foxconn is making preparations for iTV, Apple Inc’s rumored upcoming high-definition television, although development or manufacturing has yet to begin.

Gou also hinted that iTV will feature an aluminum construction, Siri and FaceTime video calling.

What, no Kinect-like video game console sporting an interface that relies heavily on motion and touch controls?

Such a description appears to fit what Cult of Mac editor Leander Kahney learned recently from a trusted source who claims to have seen an Apple HDTV prototype in person. It apparently “resembles an Apple monitor, only much larger”.

Kahney also wrote that iTV sports “a sophisticated FaceTime camera with facial recognition and uses Siri to initiate FaceTime calls”.

Based on the description, the publication commissioned a designer to create an iTV mockup, seen below.

We certainly hope the iTV – or whatever it ends up being called – will look better than the Cinema Displays.

Apple’s industrial design guru apparently hides a 50-inch iTV prototype in his design bunker so here’s to the hoping iTV looks like a television set rather than resemble a computer monitor.

UPDATE: a Foxconn spokesperson provided The Next Web with the following statement:

In remarks at a media briefing during the groundbreaking of Foxconn’s new China headquarters in Shanghai on May 10, Terry Gou, Foxconn’s Chief Executive Officer, made it very clear that he would neither confirm nor speculate about Foxconn’s involvement in the production of any product for any customer because Foxconn’s policy is not to comment on any customers or their products.

At no time did he confirm that Foxconn was in development or manufacturing stages for any product for any of its customers. He did say that Foxconn is always prepared to meet the manufacturing needs of customers should they determine that they wish to work with Foxconn in the production of any of their products. Any reports that Foxconn confirmed that it is preparing to produce a specific product for any customer are not accurate.

I guess it would be too much to ask for a Liquidmetal-based iTV, no?