Just when you thought Apple could not change home media anymore than they did already, they prove us wrong. When word got around about their Apple TV product being released, many people jumped at the idea thinking that was as good as a Apple television was going to be. But one of the last interviews Steve Jobs (RIP) did, he shared that he wanted to have an actual smart TV set built under the Apple brand. Now we hear rumors of Foxconn working on a prototype TV set for Apple.
An insider with China Business News says that it is indeed happening, despite the current Foxconn CEO denies the rumor. It appears that last week Terry Gou (who is the Foxconn CEO) reportedly confirmed the rumors and then quickly came back to deny them. At this point it appears as if it is not set in stone, even though we know Foxconn has invested into Sharp’s LCD business and has close ties to Apple.
Analyst Piper Jaffrey believes that they will call the unit the iHub and will see an early 2013 release. Jeffries & Co state that they expect it to be released in the 4th quarter of 2012, under the iPanel brand. People are predicting the price will be set between $1,200 to $2,000. Again, no one has confirmed the reports at this time. It is in pure speculation at this point, but we can say it has a very good chance of becoming reality soon enough.
Just based on these reports, I do want to add that a TV set by Apple is likely not far off. I just doubt it will be able to come out late this year. I am sure a more realistic date would be in 2013, which would allow them to have enough time to create the kind of television set that they want. I do agree with the price range others have shared, we all know that most Apple products cost around that and I see no reason why we should expect less from them for a TV. As for what we can expect in terms of hardware, I think it is safe to say that it will support a nice screen with all the bells and whistles that most smart TVs have. However, I would be surprised if they do not include a few surprise features that Apple fans adore.