After Foxconn's "yes we are; no we're not" turnaround on the Apple television earlier this month, fresh rumors from China now claim once again that pilot production has begun at the long-time Cupertino partner. "Informed sources" spilled the test production details to the China Business News, or so the Chinese-language site claims, though exactly when that might mature to full production is unclear.
If you follow the rumors surrounding Apple, you know that the company is reportedly working on a television. That television, rumors suggest, will come with iCloud support, apps, and perhaps even Siri. More importantly, it’ll deliver the kind of image quality often not found in today’s televisions. However, like so many other Apple products, it’s highly likely that the television will boast a high price tag.
Today's morning wrap-up is a year's special edition: May the 4th be with you - Star Wars abound! At the moment we've got a severe lack of Star Wars news, I'm afraid, but don't let that get you down, we've got everything else in the gadget galaxy you could possible desire. Start your Mother's Day weekend off right with our Mother's Day 2012 Guide to Gadget Gifts! Then head down to the two oddest stories we've got for the day already: Yahoo CEO grilling and This man made snack-time suck.
This weekend we're hearing basically every single tech, gaming, and Apple-heavy site flip out over the idea that Tim Cook's visit to Valve means an Apple gaming console is in the mix - I disagree. Several simple factors mean that Apple's next-generation television push isn't going to be a full-fledged television, and several simple factors count Valve out of the physical gaming system game as well. Instead, I contend that Apple will be releasing their next-generation MacBook Pro line with emphasis on graphics and computing power, with Valve's library of OS X-compatible games there to back up their claims.
It has been newly revealed that the Apple A5 chip that appears in the newest version of the Apple TV set-top streaming box is actually based on a dual-core architecture. Not only that, it is also 41% smaller than the A5 chip found in other Apple devices. These are factors that would significantly lower Apple's manufacturing cost, an important factor in the new Apple TV.
In what might be a surprise move for many not following extremely closely LG's involvement in the Google TV platform, the manufacturer has been tipped this week as coming with Google TV 2.0 to the USA as soon as this weekend. A report coming from Shinhan Investment Corporation in Korea, LG will be bringing their 3D LED TV model to the states in two sizes: 47-inch and 55-inch, with prices set at or around $1600 and $2100 USD respectively in online outlets. This move is said by Shinhan to perhaps be in anticipation of an Apple TV Smart TV set release later this year.
Apple has quietly inked a deal with Universal Studios to permit iTunes users to re-download the studio's movies via iCloud, leaving Fox the final hold-out for the cloud service. Apple had added movie support to iCloud - allowing users to download content they had purchased from the iTunes store to multiple devices registered to the same account - when it launched the new iPad and the third-gen Apple TV; however, thanks to a previous agreement with HBO, neither Universal Studios nor Fox movies were available under the service.
It’s becoming increasingly clear to just about everyone that at some point in the next several months, Apple will be announcing a television. The device could come with everything from iCloud integration to access to the App Store, and depending on who you talk to, it could have dramatically improved specs or simply match some of the products on store shelves.
Either way, it’s coming soon.
Long-standing rumors of a standalone Apple TV set continue to percolate, with suggestions that Foxconn parent Hon Hai's display deal with Sharp, along with fresh Apple panel patents, lend weight to the HDTV whispers. The Cupertino company is apparently working on an advancement of Fringe Field Switching (FSS) systems suitable for HDTV-scale panels, with Patently Apple flagging up a recently granted patent for the TFT LCD display technology. FSS is currently used in Apple's smaller devices, and relies on IPS display technology of which Sharp is a notable patent holder.
Apple has already fessed up to the new iPad selling well, but sales stats for the refreshed Apple TV have been less forthcoming. The company added 1080p support to the set-top box, together with refreshing the interface, while a new Apple A5X chipset now allows for Full HD AirPlay streaming from the new iPad. Yet there's still no indication whether Apple's "one more thing" was a success or otherwise.
Controversy over the third-gen Apple TV today, as a former Apple designer responsible for the last-gen set-top box's interface criticized the new UI as old ideas recycled now Steve Jobs is no longer around to veto them. Michael Margolis took to Twitter to comment on the recently announced 1080p Apple TV, suggesting that "those new designs were tossed out 5 years ago because SJ [Steve Jobs]didn't like them" and that "now there is nobody to say "no" to bad design."