A new report has surfaced claiming that Apple's rumored iOS-based "iTV" will include 42- and 50-inch sizes. The news arrives by way of a former Apple employee who claims that a working 50-inch version -- likely a prototype -- actually resides inside the locked-down studio of Jonathan Ive, senior vice president of industrial design at Apple. Previous reports indicated that Apple was launching 32- and 37-inch models, yet currently there's no indication if the larger models are an addition, or the correct sizes.
In addition to the sizes, Apple is reportedly still trying to negotiate deals with content owners. One reported roadblock -- a major one at that -- is an unwillingness to cut a deal with Apple that would allow it to offer first-tier TV network programs for an à la carte iTunes TV service -- a huge selling point for the supposed iTV. There's speculation that the reluctance may be due to a fear of Apple taking control of the TV market as it did with the mobile sector. Les Moonves even admitted that it declined a streaming deal for Apple's iTV in a recent company financial report.
But even if Apple suddenly struck deals with content owners, Apple's iTV may not hit the market for another year based on a lack of evidence that Apple has even ordered production of panels for TVs. Then again in October, reports claimed that large parts suitable for an HDTV were discovered moving through Apple's supply chain. Something is going on in regards to Apple and an HDTV, but it's just hard to pinpoint exactly what that "something" is.
"I do expect Apple to make an [HDTV] attempt," said Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, "since I expect the living room to remain a center for family entertainment, and that touches on all areas of consumer products that Apple is already making."
As it stands now, Apple is reportedly prototyping an HDTV based on iOS and Siri. It will be compatible with iCloud and Airplay while also providing DVR functionality. Apple also wants the device to "recognize" the consumer by using a camera to scan his/her face, and accept commands using both voice and hand gestures. Also on the planning board is the ability to start a movie or TV show on one iOS device, and continue on another. And as previously stated, the actual reported sizes are 32-, 37-, 42- and 50-inch screens.
Last week Apple was reported to be entertaining bids from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE) and Siliconware Precision Industries (SPIL) to produce the HDTV components. Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai Precision Industry), the company that handles most of Apple's manufacturing requirements, will likely obtain the assembly orders. Apple will presumably place orders for the customized chips and other components directly with its contract manufacturers similar to the way it orders parts for its iPad and iPhone models.
Even with CES 2012 gearing up to showcase some amazing products next week, the entertainment industry is seemingly keeping a keen eye on Apple. Microsoft, which will showcase products for the last time this year, admits that whatever Apple finally does in the living room "is going to come on strong." LG, which is adding built-in motion and voice navigation into its TVs next near, also acknowledges the looming Apple storm.
"Apple's done some amazing things with (user interface) and ease of use, so we'll certainly keep an eye on what comes out of there," the company stated.