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Apple iTV release date, specs & rumours: is an Apple Television coming?

Ashleigh Allsopp | May 22, 2014
What the world is saying (making up) about the much-rumoured Apple iTV super television.

If Munster is beginning to doubt that an Apple Television is coming, we are too.

Jefferies analyst Peter Misek believed that the Apple Television would launch in 2013 after he spotted "prototypes floating around" in Apple's supply chain (apparently). But, when no Apple Television arrived last year, Misek said that it was probably delayed due to the high cost of a 4K/Ultra HD display.

"We had thought that Apple's software and ecosystem would be enough to drive demand but our checks indicate that Apple wants the hardware to also stand out. We believe Apple wants a display that looks like 4K/Ultra HD but without the super-premium cost."

We're beginning to think that either Apple's given up on the idea of an Apple Television, or it's decided to hold off a little. One report that emerged in November 2013 seems to suggest that the latter is more likely. NPD DisplaySearch thinks that Apple is pushing back the launch of its Apple Television to 2015 or 2016 while it focuses on the iWatch for 2014.

Who will make the Apple TV?

Apple factory partner Foxconn boss Terry Gou, reportedly confirmed that Apple is working on a HD television set.

According to China Daily, Gou has said that Apple manufacturer Foxconn is working with Sharp in Japan to prepare for production of the highly anticipated Apple television set.

"Gou said Foxconn is making preparations for iTV, Apple Inc's rumoured upcoming high-definition television, although development or manufacturing has yet to begin," says the report.

Predictably Foxconn and Gou quickly denied that he'd said anything of the sort.

Apple's favoured Chinese manufacturer Foxconn has invested 133 billion yen (US$1.6 billion) in Sharp's TV and Display unit, which can efficiently make large size panels up to 60-inches.

It was reported in June that Foxconn is in talks with Sharp about increasing its stake as it bets on the Japanese firm's leading edge technology to give it a boost in the display panel business, says the Eastern Morning Herald. Foxconn agreed in March to buy new shares in Sharp worth $844 million as part of a tie-up in liquid crystal display production. All this, insiders believe, makes the possibility of an Apple TV much more likely as Foxconn is Apple's biggest supplier.

"I'm proud to say the cooperation with Sharp will let us beat Samsung in terms of clearness - high resolution," Foxconn chairman Terry Gou told shareholders.

Apple has apparently switched from Samsung to Sharp for its iPad and iPhone screens.

Around the same time came the rumour that Apple is planning to buy Loewe (pronounced "Lur-ver"), a German TV manufacturer that specializes in the sort of premium television sets that we'd expect Apple to produce, so it could be the company that ends up making the iTV.


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