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Rumor: Apple Still in Design Stage with iTV

The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple is currently working with component suppliers in Asia to test several designs of the rumored iTV.

Unnamed officials for various Apple suppliers claim that the iPad company has been working on testing a few iOS-based HDTV prototypes for a number of years. One of these test units even reportedly stems from a collaboration with Foxconn and Sharp.

That said, one official reports that Apple still hasn't "locked down" on a particular design, that it still isn't a "formal" project and is in the early stage of testing. However the Wall Street Journal points out that Apple generally tests and developes products internally before reaching out to its suppliers. This seems to indicate that Apple may have progressed to the next stage of its iTV development.

Now here's something to chew on: iTV may be why Foxconn is coming to North America. The company recently confirmed that it plans to expand its operations into the United States. Spokesperson Louis Woo said that Americans simply want more of their products manufactured locally, but first the company will need to work out the kinks in the supply chain, and hire on "high-value engineering talent" to replace cheap labor.

Prior to the Foxconn confirmation, a previous report said that Foxconn may focus its North American efforts on HDTV production. Even more, these factories will reportedly be highly automated and easier to manage. Add all those ingredients together, and you have Apple working on an HDTV that will be manufactured by Foxconn here in the States and mostly assembled by robots. The departments will be run by engineers hired here, trained overseas, and then brought back to work in the American Foxconn facility.

With all that out of the way, we know that Apple is trying to change the way we watch television much like the way it transformed the mobile phone and slate sectors. The current method of TV entertainment is supposedly "broken" according to the late Steve Jobs, and with Siri and Apple's innovative iOS platform, the company is understandably taking its time in getting it right.

Just recently Apple CEO Tim Cook implied to NBC that an Apple TV product is defimitely in the works. "When I go into my living room and turn on the TV, I feel like I have gone backwards in time by 20 to 30 years,” Cook said. “It’s an area of intense interest. I can’t say more than that.”

Meanwhile, earlier this month, Foxconn chairman Terry Gou reportedly said that talks to get an up to 9.9-percent stake in Sharp will not change even though Qualcomm offered the display manufacturer a cash injection, granting Qualcomm a 5-percent stake in Sharp. Gou said Foxconn and Sharp should reach a decision before the March 2013 deadline.

The news arrives after Sharp's mounting loses have taken their toll on the relationship with Foxconn over the last several months. However so far the two companies have not come to an agreement over how much will be invested into the display manufacturer.

As for the iTV, Apple still may have a long way to go before the device – whether it's another set-top box or an actual HDTV – will see the light of day. For years we've read reports that Apple is having difficulty in landing specific deals with content owners and cable operators. There's also a reported level of fear in that Apple could possibly dominate the entertainment market much like it has with the pre-Android mobile market with its iPad and iPhone. It will be interesting to see how Apple will change the face of the living room if everything falls into place.

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  • spartanmk2
    *Americans simply want more of their products manufactured locally*

    Haha thats a laugh. Since when do companies move their manufacturing infrastructure from one continent to another to satisfy the local populace's need for home built goods? Definitely not Apple.
    Reply
  • guru_urug
    Psst....Apple, heres an idea...
    try a rectangle with rounded edges :P
    Reply
  • victorintelr
    Well, seeing those ads of the cable providers where you can watch tv on your tablet, they are already changing the way people see tv, and the pay per view, also the smart tvs, apple is getting pretty late to this changing market. However Apple has lot of followers that will buy whatever it produces. If it comes with something completely out of the box that no one though about, might be successful, but it's already faceing a lot of competition. On my side I wouldn't buy one, and I don't even watch TV anymore (well, sometimes PBS, and when I had it, Discovery Channel).
    Reply
  • victorintelr
    guru_urugPsst....Apple, heres an idea...try a rectangle with rounded edgesjust don't try the swipe to unlock on the TV itself
    Reply
  • apone
    @ Spartanmk2

    Agreed, I remember the "Made in the USA" label slowly fading into oblivion during the 80's and 90's.
    Reply
  • silverblue
    I'm still wanting them to try and copyright "iTV"... :)
    Reply
  • glasssplinter
    The longer this pos isn't on the shelves the better. Can hardly wait to buy a new tv that is round or triangular because crapple claims and of course wins the patent on a tv shape and all other designs are in direct violation.
    Reply
  • eternalkp
    "When I go into my living room and turn on the TV, I feel like I have gone backwards in time by 20 to 30 years,” that's the dumbest statement i've ever heard.
    1080p & bluray was available back then?

    I can't wait for a $5,000 1080p iTV.
    Meanwhile, most 1080p LED tvs are bellow $1,000.
    Reply
  • blakbird24
    This whole idea is already too late. Samsung is off and running with their smart TVs. I'm sure iTV will be a beautiful and well executed product, but by the time it comes out none of that will matter as Apple will have already lost the smartphone and tablet wars, and will be selling to a small niche audience. Apple needed this thing to launch before this holiday season. Even Q1 2013 is too late.
    Reply
  • ITV is a Britsh Broadcast Company (http://www.itv.com/ and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITV) and not some cheap rebranded Foxconn tv set and sold at rip off prices to the masses of fools out there who will pay for it!
    Reply