Rumors about an Apple-based television set have been making the rounds since last year after Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs biography mentioned that the late Apple co-founder was working on an Apple-branded TV before his death on Oct. 5. Apple, ever masters of PR and promotion have made no announcements, preferring instead to let rumors swirl and anticipation build.
But I thought it important to share with you that multiple sites that I respect, from Wired to PC Magazine, to Cult of Mac are citing Foxconn, Apple's leading Asian manufacturing partner, as the choice to produce a high-definition Apple television set.
China Daily is reporting that Foxconn Chief Terry Gou said during a recent news conference in Shanghai that his company has been making preparations to start producing Apple's TV set, though development and manufacturing of the device has not yet begun.
Reports say the HD iTV will feature an aluminum body, the voice-activated virtual assistant Siri, and FaceTime video calling. The iSight camera is quite sophisticated, with facial-recognition technology and the ability to zoom in on a user's face and even follow them around the room. This means users will be able to make a video call from across the living room, instead of having to sit directly in front of the TV. And, they will reportedly be able to initiate the call with Siri.
Sounds pretty cool huh?
I know many of you will say, "wait a sec Doc, isn't Sharp the odds on favorite for HD iTV?" Well, if the reports are correct, Sharp will indeed have a role, as Foxconn’s recent 50-50 joint venture factory with Sharp in Japan is one of the preparations made for the new device.
Foxconn, has invested $1.6 billion in Sharp’s TV unit, which can efficiently make large size panels up to 60-inches. Sources such as Cult of Mac say HD iTV will not be anything exotic like OLED or 4K resolution, but they claim there will likely be two to four models ranging from 40-inches to 60-inches. They will be standard 1920 x 1080p resolution and cost between $1,000 to $2,000 or slightly higher.
It's amazing to see how far Foxconn has come, as recent numbers show they make an estimated 40 percent of the smartphones, computers and other electronic gadgets sold around the world.