So earlier we told you about the rumored Apple Phablet. (Wouldn’t it be great if they called it that…) Now we have other reports floating around the rumored iTV. I told you these weren’t going to stop…
The iTV is rumored to be using Sharp Displays. This part would line up with reports that Foxconn Apple’s biggest manufacturing partner, has purchased equity stake in Sharp. Also, it’s been reported that Apple has recently invested about $1.3 billion into Sharp factories for some type of new product.
An Asian research group, CLSA noted:
We continue to view Apple TV hardware as a 2013 event. The timing of Hon Hai/Foxconn’s equity stake and partnership with Sharp along with Hon Hai Chairman Terry Gou’s separate 46.5% investment in Sharp’s Sakai City plant lends further credibility that Apple TV is in the works. This also follows reports that Apple is investing ~$1.3bn in equipment destined for Sharp facilities. The fact that Hon Hai is investing rather than just procuring panels from Sharp underscores a deeper level of integration which Apple/Hon Hai are accustomed to, increased reliability as Sharp has struggled with iPad3 qualification, and an effort to improve Sharp’s financial position before becoming a more meaningful supplier to Apple. We also believe Corning has an 83% market share at the Sakai facility and would ultimately benefit from improving utilization that is expected to happen over time. Sharp accounted for 10% of Corning’s overall sales and 25% of its display sales in 2011
Most clients agree that a TV is coming; the critical question becomes how the video providers fit into the equation and how apple’s offering would/could differ from current tv’s beyond ios/icloud. Biggest commentary yesterday centered on LG Display as the big loser.
I don’t really care when this TV is coming out! I just want one. To think we’d have to wait a whole year to see this mythical iTV is driving me bonkers.
The one thing we haven’t hear a lot on is Apple’s ability to line up fresh content to populate this “iTV”. I’m sure we’ll see more information flowing through the rumor mill very soon.
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