I spoke far too soon in a conversation with one of our writers earlier in the week when I said “we haven’t heard any Apple iTV rumors in a while.” As the old English saying, they’re like London busses; you wait for ages for one and then two come along at once. Only yesterday we read a DigiTimes report claiming that the TV was on its way, and that production will likely begin in the last quarter of this year, ready for an early 2014 release. A little more speculation comes to us today via CNA. The report states that Apple will use its long-term manufacturing partner, Foxconn to produce the large display panels required.
An inside source told the publication that Foxconn’s chief, Terry Gou, met with Apple in Japan recently to discuss the partnership and proposed location for the manufacturing of the ‘iTV’ displays. If that’s true, it means rumors of LG supplying the displays were incorrect, which isn’t surprising at all considering LG’s history of failing to meet deadlines and productivity rates for iPhone/iPad displays. That said, there is a possibility that Cupertino could split the workload between the two companies.
The interesting part of this tale (as pointed out by Christian Zibreg) is that Foxconn recently purchased a display manufacturing plant in Sakai, Japan, and has secured an exclusive deal on using Corning’s glass on large displays. The plant itself is guaranteed to lose money, unless it gets a major manufacturing order through from a big company. Like Apple. If all these tell-tale signs are working in the same way, there’s a possibility that Apple’s TVs will be the only large HD televisions with Corning glass protection.