Foxconn-Sharp deal expected to target orders for Apple television

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014


The newly announced partnership between Foxconn and Sharp has been seen as an opportunity for both companies to produce IGZO panels for Apple's anticipated television set.



Both Foxconn and Sharp are already suppliers of Apple, but their new alliance has been viewed by industry insiders who DigiTimes as a way for the companies to secure more orders from Apple. Specifically, it is expected that Apple may be interested in using Sharp's technology to produce Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide (IGZO) panels for its forthcoming television.



It was announced on Tuesday that Foxconn has bought a 10 percent share in Sharp worth $808 million. The partnership aims to improve Sharp's LCD business, which has been a money losing operation.



Sharp is already a major supplier of Apple, and is said to have recently begun small-volume shipments of iPad Retina Displays to the company. And Foxconn is Apple's primary manufacturing partner, responsible for assembling devices like the iPhone, iPad and more.



According to DigiTimes, Foxconn has also been investing in LCD maker Chimei Innolux, but industry sources noted that Sharp has been replacing that company as a panel supplier for the iPad. The new partnership between Foxconn and Sharp is therefore seen as more beneficial to Foxconn than its preexisting arrangements with Chimei Innolux.



Officials with Sharp expect that the Foxconn deal will create more demand for products from its state-of-the-art LCD factory in Sakai, Japan, that first opened in 2009.



The new partnership will make Foxconn the single largest shareholder in Sharp, which is expected to see its biggest annual loss in the company's 99-year history. Those problems stem partially from the fact that revenues from HDTV panels have sunk, though new displays based on IGZO panels may help.











Apple is believed to be working on its own full-fledged television set. Rumors of an Apple television picked up last year, when it was revealed that late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs told biographer Walter Isaacson that he felt he had "cracked" the secret to a simple and elegant television set.



"It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine," he said. "I finally cracked it."



More recent reports have suggested that Apple has already begun to line up suppliers for the forthcoming device. One analyst claimed earlier this month that production is expected to begin in May or June ahead of a formal product launch in late 2012.



[ View article on AppleInsider ]

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Comments

  • irelandireland Posts: 15,021member
    iTV announced with TV App Store, Apple TV continues to be sold along side it without an App Store (for people who cannot afford or do not want to buy an iTV now or currently).



    So; the differentiators between the two products are: integration (complete all-in-one solution), hardware design (best looking TV around), simplicity (no boxes or cables, one simple remote) and an App Store. Of course the primary issue is not the go-to-market strategy (that's strategy is obvious). The issue is getting the TV Show content (movies are a bonus). This iTV product really needs a subscription model for TV Shows; this would allow Apple to subsidize the up-front cost of the TV and this would make it a hit and would in-turn make it a great target for developers, which would make it the product it needs to be. Definitely needs a dedicated hardware controller with buttons for gaming though. Apple will need to produce a games controller an an optional extra. (not an app)
  • gatorguygatorguy Posts: 14,132member
    Foxconn recently made some comments in the press. Among them was a claim that they had the advantage of being the designers, builders, packagers and shippers of mobile electronics, not simply a manufacturer. All a partner had to do was market the finished goods and FoxConn would handle all the rest. If FoxConn is buying into Sharp and expected to take half their LCD production it begs the question, at least in my mind, how much of the work Foxconn is doing on Apple TV, assuming it's not vaporware. The recent articles claim that Foxconn and not Apple themselves is buying up the product.

    http://forums.appleinsider.com/showt...hreadid=147578.

    Is Foxconn basically designing an Apple TV, or at least doing most of the ground work? Perhaps they're handling most everything and all Apple is doing is branding and marketing? Curious. . .



    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/03...hone_division/
  • anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 16,562member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    Is Foxconn basically designing an Apple TV, or at least doing most of the ground work?



    Is that a serious question?



    (If it is, the answer is "no").
  • isheldonisheldon Posts: 570member
    If it doesn't have a Retina diplay who would want this?



    A walled-in iTunes store TV @ $3,000 will need a display like no other in order to be a success. The content is too limiting for a high priced TV. That is why Roku is killing ATV.
  • gatorguygatorguy Posts: 14,132member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    Is that a serious question?



    (If it is, the answer is "no").



    And you know just what Foxconn's contribution is to this because...?
  • irelandireland Posts: 15,021member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iSheldon View Post


    If it doesn't have a Retina diplay who would want this?



    TV's are already retina.
  • bawbbawb Posts: 1member
    I think the idea of an Apple branded TV is overblown. Where Apple can define the market in their computer and iOS products with respect to screen size, etc., the television market is much more diversified with features and screen sizes. Most TV manufacturers produce televisions with many different screen sizes and features to appeal to the very diverse needs of the market. Apple focuses on producing the best products in their chosen market space. All of the discussions related to contracts with providers could be satisfied with the Apple TV and the recent patent news posted on Appleinsider is related to using iOS devices as remote controls. Wouldn't it make more sense for Apple to have an Apple TV in almost all living rooms and controlling that device and any other peripherals with an iPhone or iPad vs. having an Apple branded TV in a small percentage of households. Apple still has a fairly small market share of the computer market but they're currently making their money on the much more commonly used iOS devices.
  • anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 16,562member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    And you know just what Foxconn's contribution is to this because...?



    And you expect something like this from Apple because....?
  • isheldonisheldon Posts: 570member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    TV's are already retina.



    Really- which ones? Which ones have "That’s four times the number of pixels in iPad 2 and a million more than an HDTV."?

    or 2048 X 1536 to be more precise?

    I'd like to get one now that's comparable to my iPhone 4 or new iPad.
  • irelandireland Posts: 15,021member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bawb View Post


    I think the idea of an Apple branded TV is overblown. Where Apple can define the market in their computer and iOS products with respect to screen size, etc., the television market is much more diversified with features and screen sizes.



    That could be said of every market Apple is now a leader in. Apple making a television will only make sense to you in hindsight it seems. To me it's simply obvious.
  • irelandireland Posts: 15,021member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iSheldon View Post


    Really- which ones? Which ones have "That’s four times the number of pixels in iPad 2 and a million more than an HDTV."?

    I'd like to get one now that's comparable to my iPhone 4 or new iPad.



    You do not understand what retina™ means.
  • gatorguygatorguy Posts: 14,132member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    And you expect something like this from Apple because....?



    Ahh, change the discussion if you don't have an answer?



    I didn't say I expect anything. I did say I had questions. Apparently you don't. The biggest question mark for me is just what would Foxconn do with purchasing half the Sharp LCD production if they weren't reselling it, so of course they are. Who are they selling it to? We don't know, but if some of it is being sold to Apple, that might be an indicator that it's somewhat Foxconn's product being branded as Apple's.
  • herbapouherbapou Posts: 2,172member
    This a move to get rid of Samsung. Sharp will be supplying iphone and ipad screens and possibly TV panels in the future.
  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The newly announced partnership between Foxconn and Sharp has been seen as an opportunity for both companies to produce IGZO panels for Apple's anticipated television set.






    It seems much more likely to me that it is an opportunity for Foxcon to produce IZGO panel-tvs for Sharp.



    why does apple enter into things? ISTM that Sharp could use some design and manufacturing expertise in areas other than the display, and Foxcon is well suited to give them that assistance.



    My guess is that Sharp wants/needs to reduce costs and streamline the production/packaging/distribution process, and foxconn is in business to do exactly that.



    How does Apple fit into this again? They don't use IZGO displays in any product.
  • ericthehalfbeeericthehalfbee Posts: 2,449member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    And you know just what Foxconn's contribution is to this because...?



    Apples design process has been described numerous times over the years. They do 100% of the design in-house and have the capability to produce finished prototypes of devices without external help. When they've finalized their design it goes to Foxconn (or other assembler) for mass production.



    Do you actually think Apple's obsessing over every detail has recently changed and they are going to let an outside company take part in the design of any Apple product?
  • isheldonisheldon Posts: 570member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    You do not understand what retina? means.



    Oh right- whatever you say.

    I get it- the iPad display is not better than a HDTV regardless that Apple is marketing it as such.
  • isheldonisheldon Posts: 570member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post


    Apples design process has been described numerous times over the years. They do 100% of the design in-house and have the capability to produce finished prototypes of devices without external help. When they've finalized their design it goes to Foxconn (or other assembler) for mass production.



    Do you actually think Apple's obsessing over every detail has recently changed and they are going to let an outside company take part in the design of any Apple product?



    Do you think Apple will use some kind of new Resolutionary screen?
  • rtdunhamrtdunham Posts: 416member
    "It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine," he said. "I finally cracked it."



    Under promise, over deliver.
  • gatorguygatorguy Posts: 14,132member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post


    Apples design process has been described numerous times over the years. They do 100% of the design in-house and have the capability to produce finished prototypes of devices without external help. When they've finalized their design it goes to Foxconn (or other assembler) for mass production.



    Do you actually think Apple's obsessing over every detail has recently changed and they are going to let an outside company take part in the design of any Apple product?



    I don't disagree at all. That doesn't mean that Apple might not lean more heavily on Foxconn's expertise for developing a TV, something they probably have extensive experience with. Foxconn recent comments on handling every detail from design to shipment, coupled with the claim that they'll purchase as much as half of Sharp's LCD production opened up some questions for me, that's all.
  • isheldonisheldon Posts: 570member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rtdunham View Post


    "It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine," he said. "I finally cracked it."



    Under promise, over deliver.



    "Blu-ray is a bag of hurt."



    "ATV is a hobby"



    "It’s really the home stereo reinvented” iPod HiFi



    Apple's track record on Home entertainment is not the greatest.
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