Taiwanese Sources Say 46–55-inch Apple TV in Testing Phase

The rumour mill informed the Wall Street Journal last week about the Apple television set, claiming it is in the early stages of testing. Today we got more news about the eagerly awaited Apple product, courtesy of the Taiwanese news agency Focus Taiwan (via 9to5Mac).

Apple TV
Turns out Marc Andreessen may be right, and Gene Munster’s estimation could be wrong, as, according to the report citing sources close to Hoi Hai Precision Industry Co. (Foxconn), Apple’s key supplier is already testing Apple iTV designs, but a 2013 launch isn’t likely.

Nevertheless, the source said it is unlikely that shipments of the appliances will begin as soon as the end of next year.

Interestingly, while the Wall Street Journal report knew Sharp was involved in the project, the Taiwanese sources say the probability of Sharp producing the displays for Apple TV is not high.

Asked whether the new Apple TV will use display panels produced by Japan’s Sharp Corp., the source said the possibility is not high.

Furthermore, the report highlights the possible sizes of the upcoming Apple TV, which underscore once again that Sharp may not be the best supplier for panels.

According to the source, Apple’s new TVs will need flat panels ranging between 46 inches and 55 inches, which means that Hon Hai will not need to get its supply exclusively from Sharp.

Hon Hai Chairman Terry Gou’s investment company holds a stake in a liquid-crystal-display factory owned by Sharp, Sakai International Operation, which focuses on producing 60-inch LCD panels.

From what we understand, Apple’s TV project has just started taking shape, and the path is quite long until we will see the final product materializing, as the company’s LCD supplier is still in doubt.

Here is an awesome iPanel/iTV concept trailer:

YouTube video

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