Foxconn prepping for Apple TV with Siri, FaceTime

May 11, 2012

Could we possibly be closer be making video phone calls and telling your TV what channel you want to watch?

According to Chinese media reports, Foxconn, Apple’s largest manufacturer of products, claims it’s in the works. China Daily quoted Terry Gou, chief of Foxconn, said Foxconn “is making preparations for iTV, Apple Inc’s rumored upcoming high-definition television, although development or manufacturing has yet to begin.”

The report says the TV will feature aluminum construction, Siri and FaceTime video calling. Foxconn has recently entered into a 50-50 joint venture with Sharp in Japan, who will provide displays for the TV.

Ever since late Apple CEO Steve Jobs mentioned that he “cracked the code” for the perfect television user interface in Walter Isaacson’s biography, the rumor mill has heated up for the iTV — or the Apple TV — whatever it’ll be called. Last month financial analyst Peter Misek of Jefferies & Co. upped his price target for shares of Apple on the sole fact that Apple will release a TV set this year. He expects it to drive in the fourth quarter of 2012.

In his report, he predicted Apple would call the device “iPanel.”

Just a few days ago, an unnamed source told Cult of Mac that he has seen a prototype of the device firsthand.

“It resembled an Apple monitor, only much larger,” the source told the popular Apple blog.

Apple could run into a few problems with a television set. One — the price. Consumers have spent $500+ on the iPad, more than half the price of today’s average HD flatscreen television. Can Apple price their TV competitively? At the moment it seems like it would ring in at about $1,800-$2,000. That could be steep for a TV that might only feature a 40-inch screen.

The second problem is selling more TVs once they’ve proven themselves. The lifespan of a television is much longer than that of an iPhone or iMac. A Washington Post report says the new television would be a “Trojan Horse” for other Apple content mean to focus the living room around one Apple device.

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