Prototyping for an Apple television is once again rumored to be underway at Hon Hai (Foxconn). At this early stage, Apple is said to be testing both 46-inch and 55-inch models. Whatever the final product turns out to be, it is not expected to ship before the latter part of 2013, possibly not until 2014. Focus Taiwan reports:
Hon Hai, the world's largest contract electronics maker, has declined to respond to the reports, saying that it never comments on specific business deals with any single client.
However, the Hon Hai source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the initial phase of tests on the TVs has kicked off.
Nevertheless, the source said it is unlikely that shipments of the appliances will begin as soon as the end of next year.
Tim Cook recently upgraded the television from a “hobby” to an area of “intense interest” to Apple.
Still it can be a long way from prototype to finished product, and Apple has historically said "no" to many more prototypes and ideas than they've said "yes" to.
Prototypes and hardware aside, if Apple wants to have any meaningful impact in the TV area, they have to have an answer to the content question, and that is no easy task. Content producers and cable companies alike are slow to change, and it will not be enough for Apple to offer the same product as everyone else. They will have to stand out. There have been rumors that Apple will partner with a cable provider for the initial release of a television, getting live and on-demand content side-by-side, all within Apple’s user experience, rather than the cable provider’s. That would be a step in the right direction.
We’ll have to wait a bit longer to see if it’s a step that both Apple and the cable companies are willing to take.
Source: Focus Taiwan