Apple has been testing TV sets with Asian suppliers, suggesting the US giant may be getting closer to adding a long-rumoured television to its current line-up, reports the Wall Street Journal.
According to the publication, which cited anonymous sources, Apple has instructed its long-time supplier Foxconn, which is known for making iPhones and iPad in China, to test possible TVs.
Foxconn has recently expanded into the market for large high-resolution TVs after investing in a Japanese LCD factory that used to be owned by Sharp, giving further weight to a possible collaboration with Apple.
Apple has been in talks with cable television operators in the US about building a box that would carry live television, according to anonymous sources.
There have been repeated rumours over the past year that the tech titan is on the cusp of releasing its own TV range. Its current £99 Apple TV set-top box sold 1.3 million units in the quarter ending in September.
Industry insiders predict that if Apple does release a TV, it will most likely resemble its recently launched Apple 27in iMac.
by Monira Matin
Qualcomm and Intel are reportedly looking to invest in struggling Sharp.
According to Reuters, the two chipmakers are planning to jointly invest around 30 billion yen (£236 million). Additionally, an unnamed source “familiar with the matter” has said that Qualcomm and Sharp could agree on a deal by the end of November.
Intel’s commitment is looking less assured, due to its own uncertain financial outlook. However, it is known to be a keen admirer of Sharp’s super-sharp, power-saving IGZO technology, as it responds to the ailing PC market by focusing more heavily on thin-and-light ultrabooks, tablets and smartphones.
Sharp, which creates the screens for Apple’s iPhone 5 amongst other devices, is looking towards manufacturing smaller displays in light of the TV industry’s decline. Last month, it announced that the Aquos Pad SHT 21, the first tablet to incorporate an IGZO display, will hit Japan in December.
The Japanese company recently secured 360 billion yen (£2.8 billion) in loans from the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and Mizuho Corporate Bank, which should keep the company running until at least March 2014.
Taiwanese heavyweight Hon Hai Precision Industry is thought to be considering parting with around £500 million to gain control of approximately 10 per cent of the company, but no deal has so far been reached.
Meanwhile, Sharp has forecast net losses of 450 billion yen (£3.5 billion) for the year.
Apparently, Sharp has been dropped by Apple for failing to meet the production requirements for high definition displays to be featured on the next generation iPad.
A report in the Korean Electronic Times News, picked up by Patently Apple, explains that LG Display and Samsung Electronics were accepted at Cupertino headquarters, while Sharp failed to hit the mark.
Sharp was competing for iPad 3 business against the two market leaders in LCD panel production, incidentally both from Korea; but according to the report the Japanese company “failed to pass Apple’s approval process for mass production.” Sharp had been working on developing high resolution panels on the basis of oxide semiconductor TFTs.
The iPad 3 is expected to hit the market by the end of this quarter, and as the time approaches the rumour mill is spinning frantically. At this point most analysts agree that the next generation iPad will feature a high-res 2048×1536 pixel display, and after the release Apple should slash the price for iPad 2.
Source: Radu Tyrsina