A year ago, the rumor mill said that Apple may release its mythical iTV by the end of 2012. When that time came, though, the same rumor mill said that content deals had thrown a wrench in the works, delaying the rumored set. So perhaps it’s no surprise that the rumor has reared its head again – now saying that the iTV will release in late 2013 or early 2014.
DetailsAccording to the sometimes accurate, always entertaining DigiTimes, Apple has been talking with manufacturing partner Foxconn about the TV set. It reportedly wants to use 4K (Ultra HD) display panels in the iTV.
The report says that Apple’s dilemma centers around who will supply the 3,840 x 2,160 panels. It says that established 4K panel makers are already producing at nearly full capacity in 2013 – to keep up with demand from China-based TV makers. It adds that other trusted panel makers who could make Ultra HD displays have their hands full with displays for Apple’s iOS devices.
DigiTimes points to LG Display as Apple’s best hope. If the company can churn out enough displays by the second half of 2013, Tim Cook and company could start shipping the TV in time for the holidays ... though the report claims that early 2014 is probably a more realistic goal.
The report adds that the set would incorporate voice and gesture controls. There was no word on the display's size.
We have no doubt that Apple would love to launch its long-rumored product with 4K resolution (possibly marketed as a Retina Display). But Ultra HDTVs are still ridiculously expensive.
Unless the Retina iTV were offered alongside a lower-resolution model, this would be a risky move. Would Apple launch a first edition of such an important product at a price point that’s out-of-reach for most customers (4K sets typically ring up for US$20,000 or more)?
As always with Apple rumors, we’d recommend downing a truckload of salt with this one. The source publication's hit-or-miss record only adds to that. Apple will likely one day ship a TV set ... but for now, we'd file this one as an intriguing rumor – and nothing more.