Rumor: Apple TV set has entered trial production

There’s already an Apple TV: a set-top box with iTunes support. Lately, though, the rumor mill has been grinding on about another product with the same name: a full-fledged TV said to be in development at Apple’s labs in Cupertino.

Well, it sounds like that device’s metamorphosis from prototype into a real product might finally be underway. China’s Business Daily reports that the upcoming TV set has already entered trial production at a factory in China. Or, in the words of the Google translation:

Yesterday, informed sources told Business Daily (microblogging) , Fuji Kang Longhua factory in Shenzhen IDPBG Business Group has received orders for the Apple TV is currently in trial production stage, but the person did not disclose more details .

That seems to be all the new information Business Daily was able to glean. We don’t yet know what shape the product might take, when it might enter mass production, and when we might see it in stores.

We do have some idea of what to expect, though. Last week, according to Business Insider, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster made a few, fairly specific predictions. He said the Apple TV will be announced in December and will carry a $1500-2000 asking price. Siri integration is said to be on the menu, as is support for remote control via iPhone and iPad.

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    • obarthelemy
    • 7 years ago

    Obligatory: [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xg2hepCGIGU[/url<]

    • ludi
    • 7 years ago

    “Apple TV…now with 12″ retina display.”

    • ShadowTiger
    • 7 years ago

    Could you refer to this product as an “Apple Television” to so it is not confused with the Apple TV? Also it just goes to show that they never planned to make a TV or else they would have a better name for the set-top box.

      • CuttinHobo
      • 7 years ago

      They’ll differentiate the products with an accent on the name. If the customer is confused and asks for the wrong item the Geniuses can scoff and tell the customer, “You’re saying it wrong.”

    • deathBOB
    • 7 years ago

    Apple post? Set rage to maximum.

      • NeelyCam
      • 7 years ago

      Set it to 11

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 7 years ago

    It’s interesting that you think the AppleTV couldn’t have subcategories below it.

    There was an iPod.

    Then an iPod Nano, then iPod Shuffle, iPod Video, Nano, and then afterward iPod Touch, too.

    I imagine they’d do much the same with AppleTV. You get a version that integrates the display with some benefit for the integration (possibly Siri, more likely unifying the remote) versus choosing your own TV and buying the AppleTV box separately.

    I think there are a lot of people who’d love to have an AppleTV interface controlling their TV’s GUI versus the crap that HDTV manufacturers are currently pooping out.

    Especially if the AppleTV Display had Siri built in. Steve Jobs claimed he’d cracked the perfect interface for an HDTV just before he departed for Heaven to complain about the quantity and quality of the clouds and the fact that God was “an idiot.” I suspect his perfect solution involves Siri/voice recognition/dictation combined with some kind of gesture support (Kinect-like, touchpad perhaps).

    I’m interested to see what they release, but I imagine that’s why they’re waiting to destroy home consoles. The second they open the App Store for AppleTV devices you hook up to your home theatre for $100 (or worse built into your HDTV), that’ll be the day Microsoft and Sony execs begin throwing themselves out windows. Casual gaming will forever be changed.

    I imagine that’ll be the day Apple finally decides integrating controller support into the SDK makes sense, too.

      • superjawes
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<]It's interesting that you think the AppleTV couldn't have subcategories below it. There was an iPod. Then an iPod Nano, then iPod Shuffle, iPod Video, Nano, and then afterward iPod Touch, too. [/quote<] This could be hilarious if you consider similar configurations... AppleTV Nano AppleTV Shuffle AppleTV Touch AppleTV Video? Would the Shuffle version have a screen? Somewhat side note, if they end up doing this, I think they need a good abbreviation, like "ATV" or "iTV" so that it will roll off the tongue better.

        • Farting Bob
        • 7 years ago

        They wouldnt be able to use iTV in England, we have a TV station called that already.

          • superjawes
          • 7 years ago

          I figured as much…although they could still use it if they bought the name. Honestly, they might have bought it already if Jobs were still around.

          • d2brothe
          • 7 years ago

          That’s never stopped apple before.

      • WaltC
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<]Especially if the AppleTV Display had Siri built in. Steve Jobs claimed he'd cracked the perfect interface for an HDTV just before he departed for Heaven to complain about the quantity and quality of the clouds and the fact that God was "an idiot." I suspect his perfect solution involves Siri/voice recognition/dictation combined with some kind of gesture support (Kinect-like, touchpad perhaps).[/quote<] IMO, Siri is far too buggy for such an application--unless Apple dumbs it down to a short, printed list of understood commands--that might work. You'd still have to train it, however, and judging by the fleeting and mostly non-existent popular support for talking navigation systems in automobiles these days--I think Apple will be immeasurably better off with no Siri at all. In fact, Siri ought to be chucked as a very old, still very bad idea. But, the further Apple moves out of traditional personal computer manufacture and competition, the happier I will be! Yes, I can see it now--no Apple befouling every advance for personal computing in the last 30 years with claims of "We got there first!" even if Apple actually "got there" twenty years after most everyone else...;) SO, Apple--in removing "Computer" from your trademark you are halfway there--so go to it with cell phones and mp3 players and TVs and short-lived fads called "tablets"--go to it, and please, please vacate the personal computer market space, pretty please? Please hurry and admit that "Macs" are 100% Intel x86 clones and that OS X isn't going anywhere because you chain it down and won't legally let it run on anything except an Apple-branded x86 Intel clone. Hey--why not refrigerators and ovens? Put chips in them and call them "smart"! Now, there's an idea--wink-wink-nudge-nudge! There's definitely a place for Apple in the kitchen--in fact, barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen seems like the perfect spot for Apple these days. Oh--about Jobs and God--it's my considered opinion that the person Jobs is speaking to at the moment isn't God--and I've no doubt that Jobs is currently enjoying the "hotseat" for the first time, while he also adjusts to being somewhere for all eternity where he is not and never will be in charge...;) Must be a brutal awakening. Hell for Jobs can be nothing less than his hirsute self being at the mercy of a 100%-accurate Steve-Jobs clone, with horns, no less, protruding from its forehead, who does nothing except scream and rage at Jobs for all eternity, calling him a "dipshit" and a "disappointment" and a "dumbass." In a never-ending tirade. Meanwhile, the souls of all of those Jobs fired, insulted, degraded, abused and otherwise stepped on in this life look on with evident satisfaction. (Forgive me for this--I do not know from whence it came! The hair on the back of my neck is standing up! Spooooky!)

        • tanker27
        • 7 years ago

        Short lived fad—tablets my @$$.

        Three successful iterations and scores of others scrambling to compete does not make a short lived fad.

    • deinabog
    • 7 years ago

    Since I don’t subscribe to any television service I’ll be passing on this when it becomes available.

      • demani
      • 7 years ago

      But you clearly have Internet access, and I think it would be a safe bet that if such a device is released the Internet component would be the focus, and the cable/broadcast portion would be the throw in. I don’t subscribe to any TV services either- windows MCE with an OTA tuner does everything I need.

    • sweatshopking
    • 7 years ago

    too bad they’re 70 million units sold behind the xbox 360 in content distribution. i realize that MANY people will purchase this if they have a 360, but they’d have to be crazy to. Itunes is horrible for video.

      • demani
      • 7 years ago

      Why? What is the disadvantage (I can’t compare, so I’m wondering what the perceived deficiency is)?

      • tanker27
      • 7 years ago

      Why? Some of those 70 million people who bought an Xbox also have a PS3 and Wii. Why would you think that they “wouldn’t” buy another device?

      Also have you even used iTunes on the AppleTV? While its not not great its also isnt horrible as you put it for video. In fact in terms of video quality I would rank it on top of Netflix and Hulu. But in terms of cost it would be dead last.

      Now if Apple did secure rights to ABC, NBC, CBS, AMC, et al and the movie studios and had a balanced pricing for such like the rumors suggest then it just may get interesting.

        • sweatshopking
        • 7 years ago

        With an Xbox you get amazon, Netflix, HBO, etc., with apple you get itunes. You’re right the video quality isn’t bad, but for the price, its steep. All you’d gain would be access to a more limited library than if you went Xbox. I never said people wouldn’t do it, I just said it wasn’t a sensible purchase. If they add siri, great, but you can already talk to your Xbox. It just doesn’t make sense. The ps3 has more options than iTunes. I just don’t know why you’d buy this if you had an Xbox or 360.

        Given my -5 I guess I’m alone in my confusion. What am I missing? What makes this a compelling product for a current console owner?

          • superjawes
          • 7 years ago

          Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t this article about a rumor for this?
          [quote<]a full-fledged TV said to be in development at Apple's labs in Cupertino. [/quote<] Having the display is something that Microsoft and Nintendo do not have, and there is only one display I know of from Sony marketed specifically for function with the PS3.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            right, but since most of the people that have xbox’s play games on them, they’re going to have them hooked up to the tv anyway. i don’t see how having an inferior product integrated is a bonus. EG the first gen google tv stuff.

            • demani
            • 7 years ago

            But Xbox is a subset of TV owners- while Xbox owners might prefer it and eschew an Apple TV, others without an AppleTV or an Xbox might not think a TV plus $250 (plus cable TV required for access to much of that content, plus gold membership) is a the right proposition for them (or “sensible”). Depending on pricing structure it might be comparable to a Sony screen price wise, only with Apple’s ecosystem behind it.

            Additionally, a lot of those sold xboxes are for games only (and I am skeptical of 70 millin if only because of the high rate of failure initially). Maybe Apple also has something for using a $100 aTV box as an extender. But if you subtract the cable TV requiring services, it seems like much of what Apple is offering is similar to what is on Xbox. And Apple sells a ton of content, which the producers like (the broadcasters probably prefer Xbox’s model since its a lot of them giving something to someone who already gets it in a different fashion anyway).

            I’m not saying anything about the viability of the Apple product until something concrete is announced, but I do think there is a market for what they are considering. I don’t see Apple adding a large enough value of things above and beyond most TVs to warrant paying for the margin, but if they can include some content for free, or be able to hand out at least some type of package/bundled content they may have something.

            The fun part about these discussions is that they are all speculation- it may be TV like in screen size only, and be an Internet device, using something like Kinect and Siri in tandem as an interface. Will be interesting to see if it ever moves beyond the “hobby” stage.

          • tanker27
          • 7 years ago

          You’re right SSK it wouldn’t make a lot of sense. But as with any other Apple device, save for the first iPod, Apple has always secured some right for something. Take for instance the iPhone, They got Youtube on it.

          iTunes Video catalog is ever growing, not to the extent of iTunes, Hulu or Amazon but I think that’s the trick up their sleeve. For all the rumors about a full fledged TV there are just as many rumors that Apple is securing rights to the major networks and cable digital lineups. Without those rights then a Apple TV is limp out of the box.

          Lets not be jaded either. A lot of the rights come with a ton of stuff. For instance Disney, which owns ABC AND ESPN. Get rights to ESPN and it will be a home run! (pun intended)

          The Xbox’s ESPN is watered down and is tied to the ISP. If you are unfortunate enough to have an ISP that doesnt have a contract with ESPN then no ESPN/3 for you.

          This may be wishful thinking on my part but I just cant see Apple releasing a TV with it’s current iTunes offering, there has to be more to the rumor.

          • End User
          • 7 years ago

          Meh. I just replaced my busted white 360 with a black one. Apart from Forza 4 I hate the f*cking thing.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            of course you do. i’m sure a nice new apple television with less features should make your feel all nice and warm inside, EU.
            you failed to actually say why anyone would buy an apple television.

            • tanker27
            • 7 years ago

            I would buy one if it meant that I wouldn’t have to succumb to cable companies I can ala carte the channels I do watch.

            Again wishful thinking on my part but if I could be allowed to buy CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, CNN, Discovery, Nat Geo, Cooking, Foodnetwork, FX, AMC, ESPN, and others as a create my own package I would be sold in a heart beat.

            I loath the fact that I have this cable package that has 200+ channels and I watch about 20 at the most.

            Oh and it has to be cost effective, cheaper or equal to the Cable Companies offering.

            • UberGerbil
            • 7 years ago

            The funny thing is, the cable companies would like to sell you channels [i<]Ă  la carte[/i<]. The content companies make it impossible.

            • tanker27
            • 7 years ago

            Hmm thats not what I have “heard” before.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            I think it depends. In many cases, they’re the same thing.

    • mikehodges2
    • 7 years ago

    [url<]http://9to5mac.com/2012/05/24/forrester-apples-tv-distinction-could-be-portability/[/url<] If it's anything like this, I think they'll be on to something.

      • Hattig
      • 7 years ago

      Apple to one-up recent 22″ tablet announcement with a 32″ tablet.

      Yeah, sounds really portable, that.

      I’ll wait to see what Apple have thought up to differentiate themselves from the bevy of reasonably priced smart TVs that are now on the market before passing judgement, but they’re really going to have to pull something special out of the hat IMO.

    • albundy
    • 7 years ago

    i am wondering how Siri will function with a device that produces non-stop loud sound. How will it distinguish tv voices from anyone in the room? Especially those annoying Siri commercials with Jackson and his damm gazpacho.

      • trackerben
      • 7 years ago

      If it comes with an iOS remote then it would have more than one mic at various distances for signals processing.

      • demani
      • 7 years ago

      Maybe they will use an iPhone as the mic? Or maybe a bluetooth mic will come with it? Theoretically, if the device “knows” what the sound is that is coming out, it can ignore that from a mic. Whether or not that will work in a living room is certainly a question (and whether Siri can live up to the hype, since it seems to be less than good at the moment).

    • tanker27
    • 7 years ago

    I am surprised at the price range. I would have figured it would carry a larger premium over current LED TV’s by another 1.5k to the low and high ends.

    I am intrigued to see what they have come up with.

      • Silus
      • 7 years ago

      Actually that price is solely for the TV set. To turn it on/off/standby and any other control, you’ll need to buy a separate device that attaches to the iTV. It’s called iRemoteControl and it’s a mere $799 and only supports iBatteries (4 to be exact) that cost $9.99 each.
      If you own an iPhone you can also use it to control your TV on anything other than on/off/standby, by downloading the app that allows it for just $299.

        • kyboshed
        • 7 years ago

        Pah, no iDevice would have removable batteries…

          • Silus
          • 7 years ago

          This is no normal removable battery…this is an iBattery…

        • Farting Bob
        • 7 years ago

        Also, if in a years time you want a new version of Siri you’ll have to buy a new TV, but dont worry this one will be 80g lighter and only cost $150 a month on a 4 year contract!

    • Grigory
    • 7 years ago

    And there I was thinking television was on the way out…

      • Silus
      • 7 years ago

      No, no…not at all. The usual TV shows seen on an Apple TV will be MUCH better! Hence the price premium…

      • Arag0n
      • 7 years ago

      There was a developer interest research going on not so long ago about that from Apple itself I guess. So, at least that it was a pretty bad report, it was a given that it’s in apple schedule to release an iTV or iScreen or iMovie, or whatever they want to call it.

      • superjawes
      • 7 years ago

      “Television” will be around…but that word is getting redefined. I think that as more options become available to order channels and shows online, the focus will shift from telecomm control to general internet service control…but that’s just what I think.

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