Update: Not surprisingly, Foxconn has denied the statement, telling The Next Web:
“Any reports,” the statement reads, “that Foxconn confirmed that it is preparing to produce a specific product for any customer are not accurate.”
Foxconn chiarman Terry Gou was recently quoted as saying that the manufacturing giant is making preparations for an Apple "iTV" television set, which included buying a significant stake in Sharp for access to LCD displays.
Previous rumors suggested that an Apple-made television would include Siri-style voice recognition and Kinect-esque motion detection, but that's all unconfirmed for now, and I would just as soon chalk it up to wishful thinking.
Steve Jobs was quoted in his biography as having "cracked" the formula for a smart TV set, something beyond Apple's existing set-top box is likely on the way. But Jobs has also said how tough the go-to-market situation is for televisions and the living room, with the cable and satellite providers being far more numerous and enjoying far more monopoly control than even carriers do in the mobile phone space.
We have heard Apple has television concepts in the labs, but it would be more surprising at this point if they didn't. Whether they ever choose to ship an Apple branded television set remains the question. Gou may be in a position to know, given Foxxcon's relationship with Apple, but it's really difficult to see him knowingly leak that sort of information. He couldn't imagine Apple being happy about it, if true, could he?
As always, we'll believe it when we see it. TV is the third screen that Apple has yet to make an agressive play for. Apple TV, from launch until this day, remains a hobby; something for Apple enthusiasts more than the mainstream. If Apple does decide to launch a television, and they do it right, their sphere of influence stands to expand massively.
That being said, we still can't see people lining up to buy a new one every year, especially not at the price that size display, and that type of technology would necessitate.
What would an Apple television need to have for you to drop, say, a thousand bucks or more on one?