Apple iTV seeking 4K Ultra HD technology from display manufacturers, rumored to ship in 2013

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Apple iTV shooting for Ultra High Definition?

The ongoing rumors of the Apple iTV have re-emerged in full force, this time with a new flavor of hype — 4K Ultra HD 3840 x 2160 resolution, voice recognition, motion control, and internet connectivity.

The rumors originate from an unnamed Apple supply chain source connected to Taiwanese news site, DigiTimes.

The sources said that Apple and Foxconn Electronics have been in discussions for quite some time in terms of the TV’s mass production schedule, but that Apple has been considering where panel supply for the TV will come from, as Ultra HD TV panel makers, most of whom are based in Taiwan, are expected to be producing at nearly full capacity in 2013 in order to meet demand from China-based TV vendors.

However, the sources added that Apple is banking on LG Display to be able to mass produce Ultra HD TV panels by the second half of the year. If LG is successful and has ample supply of the technology, Apple may try to release the TV by the end of 2013 but is more likely to do so towards the beginning of 2014.

“It’s an area of intense interest. I can’t say more than that.” The famous words of Apple CEO, Tim Cook in an NBC interview in December 2012. He added, “When I go into my living room and turn on the TV, I feel like I have gone backwards in time by 20 to 30 years.”

Additionally, The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple was testing iTV prototypes.

Officials at some of Apple’s suppliers, who declined to be named, said the Cupertino, Calif.-based company has been working on testing a few designs for a large-screen high-resolution TV.

Two people said Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., which assembles the iPhone and iPad, has been collaborating with Japan’s Sharp Corp. on the design of the new television.

“It isn’t a formal project yet. It is still in the early stage of testing,” said one of the people

Apple has many obstacles to tackle before they can successfully compete with their iTV in the already saturated television market. They will likely have to strike up content deals with TV and movie studios in order to maintain any chance of survival.

Apple tests many products, many of which have never reached consumers. So while the company might be reaching out to display manufacturers for iTV mass production, they may also scrap the entire idea at the last minute.

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About the Author

Andrew Michael is the Founder of Ultra HDTV Magazine. His interest in the technology began in 2008, before the term "Ultra HD" became mainstream. Andrew has contributed numerous articles, and continues to evolve Ultra HDTV into the ultimate Ultra High Definition resource.

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