Apple has reportedly instructed suppliers to begin “preparing materials” for the manufacturing of its new televisions sets in the first-quarter of 2012, preparing for a second or third quarter launch, Digitimes reports.
The Asian trade publication cites industry sources, adding that Apple has chosen Samsung Electronics to produce chips for its new sets, referred to in press reports as iTVs, with Sharp manufacturing and supplying the displays.
The same sources indicate that Apple will focus on 32-inch and 37-inch television sets initially, which will move away from the company’s existing set-top boxes and integrate the technology within the TV sets themselves.
Speculation surrounding a new Apple television gained momentum following the death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and the subsequent release of his biography. In Walter Isaacson’s book, there is a statement from Jobs about an Apple Television where Jobs says that he had “finally cracked it.”
It is believed that Apple’s Siri technology could be fully integrated into a new television set, which “is a guaranteed product for Apple” according to a New York Times article. The television product has reportedly been being worked on at Apple for more than a year and it has been suggested that some executives were talking about the idea as far back as 2007.
Digitimes concludes its report with the suggestion that Apple could debut a new Apple TV set-top box in 2012, following a price-drop of existing models on Internet retailers.