In an interview published by China Daily today, Terry Gou, chairman of Foxconn, confirms the massive manufacturing company is making preparations for an Apple television set called iTV. Gou also states that neither development nor manufacturing has begun. Apparently, per China Daily at least, the television set will have an aluminum construction, Siri voice controls and FaceTime video calling.
This is the most solid report to date of the long-fabled Apple HDTV. The product has been rumored for the last several years. So far both Steve Jobs and now Tim Cook have called the Apple TV, the company’s set-top box, a hobby. But it seems the company is almost ready to turn its avocation into an occupation.
Gou’s claims published in today’s China Daily report line up very nicely with previous rumors including Cult Of Mac’s claims from last week. The iTV, or as I have long called it, the Apple HDTV, seems like it would be an iMac designed for the living room. An Apple HDTV will likely use a very similar branding and design plan as the iMac with near-edgeless glass and aluminum frame. It would also hopefully have a similar I/O port design, allowing consumers the luxury of having all the ports located in one location. China Daily also indicates that Foxconn is teaming up with Sharp to produce this set, which makes sense given Sharp’s dominance in LCD manufacturing.
But as China Daily indicates, production nor development has started on this product yet, seemingly indicating that it won’t hit the market in 2012. It’s been also rumored that Apple is trying to line up more content partners to bolster iTunes’s library or even perhaps cobble together a legitimate alternative to cable TV. Whenever it hits, the iTV, Apple HDTV, or whatever it will be called will likely be the biggest TV news (albeit perhaps not the most popular selling unit) since the Beatles appeared on Sullivan.