The Apple ‘iTV’ rumour mill has gone into overdrive after the latest reports from China suggesting that Foxconn’s Shenzhen plant has received orders from Cupertino to build the much-hyped sets on a trial run.
China’s First Financial Daily (via Sina) got the news from the obligatory un-named inside sources, although there was little in the way of accompanying detail.
Apple’s plans to build internet-connected TV sets have been the subject of speculation for months now, helped along by revelations in Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs that the late CEO had “cracked” TVs by creating a machine with the “simplest interface you can imagine”.
This has led some to speculate that it could feature a voice-powered search system, as does the Siri app for the iPhone 4S. Apple, of course, has said nothing and will not even confirm it is even building such a device.
Isaacson later revealed that he had left several details of the “integrated television set” Jobs was talking about out of the biography because Apple had not fully realised Jobs' vision.
Speculation has been steadily building, however, with Digitimes supply chain sources suggesting a launch date of Q2 or Q3 this year.
Most recently, Foxconn boss Terry Gou apparently said his firm was preparing its production lines for such a product, although he was forced to clarify that no orders had actually been received by the long-time Apple manufacturing partner.®