Apple is well known for keeping its secrets confidential and its products or even intentions under wraps until everything is finalized. However, this tradition will clearly be broken with Apple’s TV-set, which was first talked about in 2011 by Steve Jobs himself, but which may not reach the market even in 2013.
The first rumours about Apple’s iPhone project emerged around the middle of 2005, when the company was getting ready to co-launch Rokr phone with Motorola in September, 2005. After the Rork’s release the rumours about Apple’s handset intensified and in early 2007 the firm revealed the device, which revolutionized the market. The iPhone materialized relatively shortly after the first rumours emerged; the chatter about the iPad started less than a year before the product launch, but that may not be the case with Apple TV.
According to an anonymous source from Hon Hai Precision (better known as Foxconn Group), the No. 1 contract manufacturer of electronics in the world, cited by Focus Taiwan web-site, while the initial tests of Apple’s TV have begun, it is unlikely that shipments of the TV-sets will begin as soon as the end of next year.
Despite market rumours, Apple iTV may not utilize IGZO or other panels from Sharp since IGZO technology is still not mature and the company may not meet Apple’s demand with sufficient supply, whereas Sakai International Operation plant that is co-owned by Sharp and Foxconn specializes only on the panels that are 60” and larger. Apple is going to need tens of millions of panels from 46” to 55” in diagonal for its future TV-set.
After Steve Jobs himself announced plans for an Apple TV-set family, it makes no sense to deny that the company is working on one. However, in its usual manner, Apple never discusses any kind of details about its products before they are launched commercially. One of the things that have been confirmed is that Foxconn Electronics, Apple’s main contract manufacturer, had started to make preparations to produce iTV products. In fact, Foxconn is in talks to acquire Sharp's TV assembly lines in several countries.
Nobody knows what exactly is Apple TV-set and how competitive it will be in the light of emerging smart TVs with stereo-3D support and other technologies like cloud video game streaming. Like a lot of Apple's products, it may become a major success for the company and will transform the whole market of TV-sets.
One of the main features of Apple's television set is projected to be an ability to quickly search for content from numerous sources, including Apple's own iTunes. Given the fact that the user experience should be integrated, this feature alone presents a number of challenges. In order to provide unique capabilities and simplicity, Apple TV will likely integrate iCloud, Siri along with motion sensing support for content sharing and control purposes. In a bid to be able to control the TV using iPhone, iPad or iPod, the TV will be compatible with Apple's AirPlay technology.