Apple ‘iTV’ to be Assembled by Foxconn and Debut by End of 2012 says Digitimes

Yesterday sources told Digitimes Apple’s supply chain would begin to prepare materials in Q1 of 2012 in preparation for a launch in the third quarter. Not only that, the unit itself would not be a traditional set top box, but an actual TV:

Instead of a form of set-top box (STB) like the Apple TV launched in 2006, Apple’s new products will be full TV sets, the sources added.

It was noted media reports in late 2011 mentioned chips for iTV would come from Samsung and displays from Sharp, with two initial sizes slated for production:

The displays of the new iTV sets will focus on 32- and 37-inch sizes initially, noted sources in the supply chain.

Today, a new report from Digitimes claims the following companies could secure contracts for Apple’s orders of iTV: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE) and Siliconware Precision Industries (SPIL).

As for assembly, sources note Foxconn is favoured to win assembly orders:

Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai Precision Industry) likely will obtain assembly orders for the Apple smart TV, according to industry sources.

Apple is expected to finalize hardware standards of its TV at the end of second-quarter 2012, and will place orders for the customized chips and other components directly with its contract manufacturers – same as what the CE vendor does with iPads and iPhones, the sources said.

Sources go on to mention these new ‘smart’ TVs are set to debut by the end of 2012.

Steve Jobs told Walter Isaacson in his biography a so-called Apple television would “have the simplest user interface you could imagine” and that he “finally cracked it”. We previously heard reports of a Siri-powered television powered by the next generation A6 and possibly come in three sizes, specifically with a 55″ model.

With the current oversupply of televisions in the market that has resulted in plummeting prices, the current environment seems ripe for Apple to launch an actual television and have it reasonably priced.

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