Apple's much-rumored big-screen TV effort – the one that CEO Tim Cook recently called "an area of intense interest" – is merrily cranking along in a Foxconn factory.
So says a source at Hon Hai Precision Industry, Foxconn's parent company, according to Focus Taiwan. The scuttlebutt is that tests of "several designs" of the televisions are currently underway at the iPhone and iPad assembler.
According to the source, the Apple televisions being tested range from 46 to 55 inches, which makes them rather sizeable by current big-screen TV standards – but not outlandishly so, with a plethora of 60-to-70-inch LED and plasma big screens on the market, not to mention Sharp's 90-inch Aquos behemoth.
The usual rule of thumb for screen size, by the way, is that you should sit about 2.5 times as far away from your TV as the diagonal measurement of the screen. Following that rule, a 46-inch TV should be viewed from around 9.5 feet, and a 55-incher from 11.5 feet.
Is your TV room big enough for a big-screen Apple television, Mr. and Ms. Fanboi?
According to Focus Taiwan, their source told them that it's "unlikely that shipments of the appliances will begin as soon as the end of next year," but the same source diminished his or her credibility by saying that "new Apple TV-related products" would be on display at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January.
It's unclear from the report whether the source meant CES 2013 or CES 2014. If the latter, that seems to be exceptionally long-range planning, especially considering that Apple doesn't exhibit at CES – and never has, in your humble Reg reporter's memory (which he freely admits is diminishing with age). If the former, any demos of an Apple big-screen television at CES, even in an out-of-the-way hotel room secured by SEAL Team 6 and protected by legal strictures involving first-born children and Sopranos-level enforcement, would run contrary to Cupertino's world-renowned secretiveness.
And speaking of secrecy, Hon Hai – as would be expected – declined to comment on the Focus Taiwan story. ®