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Apple reportedly manufacturing test batch of first smart TVs

post #1 of 101
Thread Starter 
Apple this month is reported to have begun production of the first prototypes of its much-anticipated connected television sets at one of its overseas manufacturing facilities ahead of a general production ramp expected to begin late in the 2012 calendar year.

The news, which was attributed to "informed sources" speaking to the China Business News, was picked up and translated by the WantChinaTimes earlier on Monday.

In particular, the publication cited its sources as saying that this initial build plan is taking place in one of Foxconn's Shenzhen plants as a trial production run, which typically produces a small number of assembly-line-quality prototypes for Apple to put through its design test verification stages. No further details were reported.

While Apple's foray into the big-screen, connected TV business has been a popular topic of discussion amongst industry watchers for several years, few -- if any -- reliable details surrounding the project have surfaced outside of a claim by the company's late co-founder Steve Jobs to biographer Walter Isaacson that he had 'cracked' secret to a simple HDTV.

Jobs's vision for a connected TV, disclosed vaguely to Isaacson prior to his passing last October, would see the device synced with all of a user's devices, and with Apple's iCloud service.

The simplified HDTV would reportedly spare users from having to use complex remotes for multiple devices like DVD players and cable boxes. More specifically, Isaacson wrote in the best-selling biography that Jobs "wanted to do for television sets what he had done for computers, music players, and phones: make them simple and elegant."

HDTV


Earlier this month, Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou said his manufacturing firm was "making preparations" for an Apple television, but development or manufacturing had not yet begun. But days later, Gou issued a statement to reporters in which he backtracked on those claims, stating that "[a]ny reports that Foxconn confirmed that it is preparing to produce a specific product for any customer are not accurate."
post #2 of 101

Waiting for the facebook TV. It'll tell everyone what I'm watching, and all of the ads will be based on keywords from anything I've ever posted.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #3 of 101

Steve "cracked" the secret of any new technology...

 

Apple TV's will come with free porn

 

 

post #4 of 101
I wonder who is going to be presenting this new product to us on stage. I would choose Ive, but that's pretty unlikely I suppose.
post #5 of 101

Smart TV? That sounds as much like an oxymoron as an Athletic Couch. And yes, I know the "smart" is a reference to the clever design of the TV, rather than its long-lasting effects on viewers.

 

Apple is definitely on to something here. Almost all current TV/entertainment systems can be compared in the ease of use, not to Window 95,  but to the command line miseries of DOS. To do something, you must decipher the cryptic meaning of all the obscure symbols on one of several remotes. Hit the wrong button, and your DVD ejects, condemning you to a tedious five-minute process to get back to where you were in that movie.

 

Unfortunately for Apple's bean counters, they won't find me a customer. I deliberately keep my TV small, outdated and clumsy so I use it as little as possible. And personally, I wish Apple would spend a bit more time making their products more efficient for work activities. In the 1990s, Apple had so little foothold in the business market, it had to target users at play. That's no longer true, but Apple still thinks their typical customer is someone in their mid-twenties on their day off. Text handling hasn't been improved in years. Huge sums get spent for new audio and video compression schemes that may make file size or quality a tiny bit better. Nothing is spent to create an innovative, efficient way to move documents from app to app or from print to digital. Years into the age of mobile digital devices, OS X still knows nothing about epub.

 

One telling example: OS X's built-in, open-source Hunspell spell checking is so dreadful, it fails to give me the right spelling about a third the time. I'm forced to use a fake Google search, whose "Did you mean:" is right about 95% of the time. Apple's spell-checking suggestions should be at least as good as Google's.

post #6 of 101
I really, really don't think the term "TV" is going to be a part of this. If Apple is smart, which they obviously are, they'll eliminate that term which is becoming increasingly irrelevant.
post #7 of 101

Can't wait to see the simpler TV set.

post #8 of 101

iScreen

iPanel

iView

iEye

iSee

iMax

iTV

Apple TV

iWindow

 

place your bets now on what it be called????

post #9 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by MMTM1983 View Post
place your bets now on what it be called????

 

"Unused product concept #524"

post #10 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inkling View Post

Smart TV? That sounds as much like an oxymoron as an Athletic Couch. And yes, I know the "smart" is a reference to the clever design of the TV, rather than its long-lasting effects on viewers.

Apple is definitely on to something here. Almost all current TV/entertainment systems can be compared in the ease of use, not to Window 95,  but to the command line miseries of DOS. To do something, you must decipher the cryptic meaning of all the obscure symbols on one of several remotes. Hit the wrong button, and your DVD ejects, condemning you to a tedious five-minute process to get back to where you were in that movie.

Unfortunately for Apple's bean counters, they won't find me a customer. I deliberately keep my TV small, outdated and clumsy so I use it as little as possible. And personally, I wish Apple would spend a bit more time making their products more efficient for work activities. In the 1990s, Apple had so little foothold in the business market, it had to target users at play. That's no longer true, but Apple still thinks their typical customer is someone in their mid-twenties on their day off. Text handling hasn't been improved in years. Huge sums get spent for new audio and video compression schemes that may make file size or quality a tiny bit better. Nothing is spent to create an innovative, efficient way to move documents from app to app or from print to digital. Years into the age of mobile digital devices, OS X still knows nothing about epub.

One telling example: OS X's built-in, open-source Hunspell spell checking is so dreadful, it fails to give me the right spelling about a third the time. I'm forced to use a fake Google search, whose "Did you mean:" is right about 95% of the time. Apple's spell-checking suggestions should be at least as good as Google's.

How long have you been holding your spell check complaint in?
post #11 of 101
< /i >
post #12 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inkling View Post

One telling example: OS X's built-in, open-source Hunspell spell checking is so dreadful, it fails to give me the right spelling about a third the time. I'm forced to use a fake Google search, whose "Did you mean:" is right about 95% of the time. Apple's spell-checking suggestions should be at least as good as Google's.
It's not as good as Google's but don't ever expect it to be better. When you do a Google search you get the benefit of servers to process your query but OS X is making suggestions locally. Now I have no idea how Google sets their system up but I do know they have the benefit of being able to use more than a simple AppleSpell.service (located in /System/Library/Services) that Apple uses. All the DB files for my language only come to 2.6MB. Perhaps it pulls from another resource like the Dictionary DB but it's still going to be limited. That said, it certainly could be better and I expect it to get better over time but I also don't expect it to ever be an OS X priority.

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post #13 of 101
My money is on this being a collosal failure as it will be severly crippled by DRM and have a high price point.
It's one thing to create a new product like the iPhone and ipad and lock them down with Apple's 'my way or the hwy' DRM. But even the AppleTV has sputtered at $100 and relies on hacks as a selling feature.
An expensive item like a large screen TV that Apple can brick at any time... all because you wanted to watch your own content your way... I cant imagine consumers going for it.

Then again, maybe what SJ meant by 'cracking' the tv is a completely DRM free TV that plays all formats of video and has some kick ass software that lets you control it from your mobile device..... * hahahahahahahah
post #14 of 101

The New iMac.

post #15 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inkling View Post

Smart TV? That sounds as much like an oxymoron as an Athletic Couch. And yes, I know the "smart" is a reference to the clever design of the TV, rather than its long-lasting effects on viewers.

 

Apple is definitely on to something here. Almost all current TV/entertainment systems can be compared in the ease of use, not to Window 95,  but to the command line miseries of DOS. To do something, you must decipher the cryptic meaning of all the obscure symbols on one of several remotes. Hit the wrong button, and your DVD ejects, condemning you to a tedious five-minute process to get back to where you were in that movie.

 

Unfortunately for Apple's bean counters, they won't find me a customer. I deliberately keep my TV small, outdated and clumsy so I use it as little as possible. And personally, I wish Apple would spend a bit more time making their products more efficient for work activities. In the 1990s, Apple had so little foothold in the business market, it had to target users at play. That's no longer true, but Apple still thinks their typical customer is someone in their mid-twenties on their day off. Text handling hasn't been improved in years. Huge sums get spent for new audio and video compression schemes that may make file size or quality a tiny bit better. Nothing is spent to create an innovative, efficient way to move documents from app to app or from print to digital. Years into the age of mobile digital devices, OS X still knows nothing about epub.

 

One telling example: OS X's built-in, open-source Hunspell spell checking is so dreadful, it fails to give me the right spelling about a third the time. I'm forced to use a fake Google search, whose "Did you mean:" is right about 95% of the time. Apple's spell-checking suggestions should be at least as good as Google's.

Smart TV is more of having internet access and other features other than just displaying images on a screen.    The TV is basically becoming like a BIG iPad, if you will.  Lots of people and businesses buy TVs and bringing in easy to use computing makes sense.  View these new gen TVs as a BIG iPad.  People buy and rent content, which is part of Apple's business, plus whatever other features that can be implemented that makes sense for those that use TVs.  Industry analysts are projecting 92 Million Smart TVs being sold in 2012, and going up rapidly, so it is a big enough market for Apple to get into.  They just needed to do more research on that market and figure out how to address certain limitations surrounding the TV market.

 

Yeah, OS X has future upgrades, Apple already mentioned that they have this year's update and next year pretty much in the can.  So, from what it looks like, Apple is updating their OSs on a yearly basis, rather than 18 to 24 months like they used to, or every 5 years like Microsoft.

post #16 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by rain View Post

My money is on this being a collosal failure as it will be severly crippled by DRM and have a high price point.
It's one thing to create a new product like the iPhone and ipad and lock them down with Apple's 'my way or the hwy' DRM. But even the AppleTV has sputtered at $100 and relies on hacks as a selling feature.
An expensive item like a large screen TV that Apple can brick at any time... all because you wanted to watch your own content your way... I cant imagine consumers going for it.
Then again, maybe what SJ meant by 'cracking' the tv is a completely DRM free TV that plays all formats of video and has some kick ass software that lets you control it from your mobile device..... * hahahahahahahah

 

I'll put my money on Apple, they've seemed to deserve my benefit of the doubt during the last 10 years or so of launching new products, instead of a random poster declaring it a failure while not knowing a single detail about the imagined product. 

post #17 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post

The New iMac.

 

Correction, the New iMac with a free episode of House: "Now What?" starring Hugh Laurie's Neanderthal brow.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply
post #18 of 101

I really hope it is not a TV but rather a liquid metal morphing remote. It should have a camera to take pictures of other remotes and match their buttons layouts and functionality.  And while their at it how about a keyboard/trackpad hybrid made out of liquid metal that morphs depending on which program or function is in the foreground.  As many others have stated the profit margins/consumer refresh cycle on TVs seem to be at complete odds with Apple's business model.  The remote makes a lot more sense to me.

post #19 of 101

Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou: We are preparing to manufacture Apple's highly anticipated television set.

 

Apple: It's gonna look like an accident, Terry.  There will be no warning.

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post #20 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by MMTM1983 View Post

iScreen

iPanel

iView

iEye

iSee

iMax

iTV

Apple TV

iWindow

 

place your bets now on what it be called????

iTsfreakincool.

post #21 of 101

I can see this thing being used in schools. Taking iPads that the students have and displaying them on a TV for presentations, the teacher using the internet or other features in a classroom setting.  This is a no brainer.

post #22 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

iTsfreakincool.

How about iPadTV?

post #23 of 101
And my informed sources have told me that it's a final prototype for the revised cinema displays which will come in a 27 and 36 inch size, add hdmi to the connection options, be 3/4ths the thickness of the current and have a retina display

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #24 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inkling View Post

Almost all current TV/entertainment systems ...To do something, you must decipher the cryptic meaning of all the obscure symbols on one of several remotes.

Believe it or not, things have gotten better. I would say LG's "Magic Remote" TVs are considerably more intuitive than the current apple TV. There is plenty of room for improvement, but other vendors are getting pretty close now. The fact that you need extra components is the real bane of an intelligent entertainment system. That starts and ends at the cable STB; 93% of households have cable. That industry will need to be completely marginalized to make a smart TV truly useful.

I tried an experiment when we moved to a new apartment. We wanted to ditch cable TV and just use Netflix on demand. There is exactly one show I want to watch 15 minutes of per day (Mad Money), and my wife wants to have access to more current TV series in general. So, we are doomed to get cable for access, a DVR for making it bearable, and all the junk that comes along with it. Or, I need to do some more digging for torrents of current episodes.

If Apple is to innovate in the TV space, they need a full catalog of current programs available at a reasonable price.
post #25 of 101
Samsung sells about 30 million TVs worldwide, generating $30 billion a year. TVs account for roughly 25% of all of their revenue. The TV market overall is 110 million units a year

This is a big opportunity for Apple, even more so of they are able to tie it to profitable content subscription services. I can see them targeting and capturing the top 10% of the market. At $2k per, $20 billion a year

At a minimum, iTV has the potential to lay waste to Samsung's TV business by stealing away their most profitable customers. This plus the shift of components to other vendors...I say Samsung is in the shi*ter. And I will not even bring up the uglier than crap Galaxy III

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post #26 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

"Unused product concept #524"
How much money is Apple making off that $99 black box? If they have plans to revolutionize the TV experience they're not going to have you experience it on someone else's TV set. Especially when they make most of their profit on hardware. Other companies might not be, but that's why they're not Apple.
post #27 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Oak View Post

Samsung sells about 30 million TVs worldwide, generating $30 billion a year. TVs account for roughly 25% of all of their revenue. The TV market overall is 110 million units a year
This is a big opportunity for Apple, even more so of they are able to tie it to profitable content subscription services. I can see them targeting and capturing the top 10% of the market. At $2k per, $20 billion a year
At a minimum, iTV has the potential to lay waste to Samsung's TV business by stealing away their most profitable customers. This plus the shift of components to other vendors...I say Samsung is in the shi*ter. And I will not even bring up the uglier than crap Galaxy III
But how much profit do they take in? Is it 25% of all their profit?

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post #28 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post
How much money is Apple making off that $99 black box?

 

On the hardware itself? Plenty. On the content sold? Even more.

 

Quote:
If they have plans to revolutionize the TV experience they're not going to have you experience it on someone else's TV set. Especially when they make most of their profit on hardware.

 

There is not a single thing a $2,000 panel can do that a $99 box cannot. Apple has revolutionized cell phones and they did it on someone else's cell phone network. Apple has revolutionized desktop computing and they did it on someone else's Internet connection.


Apple already makes hardware on which they make profit. Televisions are NOT a profit-making market.

post #29 of 101

Correct me if I'm wrong, but in the WI biography Steve Jobs said he had cracked the "interface." A far cry from the actual TV. He said it was "so simple."

post #30 of 101
I don't know. But I assume Apple would require at least a 30% gross margin, if not higher

At 30% margin, it's $6 billion+ profit. Worth about $100 billion in market cap

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post #31 of 101

You are spot on. I stayed with the iPad until about 6 months ago, and after waiting and hoping that Apple would merge their two OS's and create a proper cloud service to enable colaborative document sharing AND editing, I have up, and went back to a MacBook Air.

 

Apple have chosen the easy route and simply left innovation in the hands of the (app) developers, but even that doesn't produce a genuinely open productivity enhancing solution.

 

Apple created the best desktop publishing machine with the Mac in the 1980s, with a snappy pleasing OS. Today, it is all shiny and there is not a single thing you can do on a Mac that you cannot do on a PC, other than admire the superb industrial design.

 

Where did Apple go wrong? They forgot their roots - to empower people. Today, they are a very very successful money machine, from expensive iDevice cases and docks (that Apple get a small royalty on if the manufacturer uses the Made For iDevice mark) to garden walled content that is not accessible on anything other than an Apple product.

 

I love Apple, but they have spent the last few years building robust foundations based on a hugely flawed paradigm.

 

And it is Android Jelly Bean and Chrome that is going to sort all this out, no matter your opinion of Google.

(For all Apple's flaws, their ethics are light years ahead of Google.)

post #32 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maecvs View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong, but in the WI biography Steve Jobs said he had cracked the "interface." A far cry from the actual TV. He said it was "so simple."

 

This is what Steve is quoted as having said:

 

"I'd like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use. It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud. It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it."

 

Personally, I believe that anyone who thinks Apple's reinvention of television demands an Apple-branded LCD panel isn't thinking outside the box enough. Apple already knows everything about televisions they need to create something that works with every television out there.

 

I'd like to see Apple force their way into HDMI 1.5 by adding support for control of all devices connected in that manner from a single source.

post #33 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

 

There is not a single thing a $2,000 panel can do that a $99 box cannot.

 

You mean apart from display an image and produce sound and allow you to connect your xbox360 or PS3 or....

post #34 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post
You mean apart from display an image and produce sound and allow you to connect your xbox360 or PS3 or....

 

Your implication is that no one on Earth has a TV and that it isn't the third most saturated electronics market on the planet.

 

Apple has never entered an established market. They've either created the market entirely or jumped in early.


Unless you want to get picky and say 'headphones', in which case… 

post #35 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oflife View Post

You are spot on. I stayed with the iPad until about 6 months ago, and after waiting and hoping that Apple would merge their two OS's and create a proper cloud service to enable colaborative document sharing AND editing, I have up, and went back to a MacBook Air.

 

This seems ridiculously rash to me.  

 

First off, shared documents and shared editing of documents (a la Google Docs), has never been promised or even talked about by Apple, so you "jumped in" at least initially on a hope and a prayer. 

 

Then you quit, while iCloud document syncing is basically still on it's first revision.  

It already works on iOS flawlessly for the most part and works with a bit of a kludge on OS-X.  

A kludge that's strongly rumoured (and even hinted at by Apple) to be fixed in the very next release.  

 

So IMO you jumped in too early, based on information not in evidence, got pissed off when it didn't immediately turn into the service you expected, and then quit in a huff without waiting for even the second revision.  

post #36 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Oak View Post

I don't know. But I assume Apple would require at least a 30% gross margin, if not higher
At 30% margin, it's $6 billion+ profit. Worth about $100 billion in market cap

Maybe Apple could do that and have excessive sales, too, but so far the TV market hasn't been able to do that in a very long time.

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post #37 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

This seems ridiculously rash to me.  

First off, shared documents and shared editing of documents (a la Google Docs), has never been promised or even talked about by Apple, so you "jumped in" at least initially on a hope and a prayer. 

Then you quit, while iCloud document syncing is basically still on it's first revision.  
It already works on iOS flawlessly for the most part and works with a bit of a kludge on OS-X.  
A kludge that's strongly rumoured (and even hinted at by Apple) to be fixed in the very next release.  

So IMO you jumped in too early, based on information not in evidence, got pissed off when it didn't immediately turn into the service you expected, and then quit in a huff without waiting for even the second revision.  

He lost me at the idea of making the iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad and all Macs into one convoluted OS despite different I/O needing different UIs and vastly different HW and expectations.

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post #38 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by MMTM1983 View Post

iScreen

iPanel

iView

iEye

iSee

iMax

iTV

Apple TV

iWindow

 

place your bets now on what it be called????

 

It certainly won't be called iTV.  www.itv.com 

post #39 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

 

I'll put my money on Apple, they've seemed to deserve my benefit of the doubt during the last 10 years or so of launching new products, instead of a random poster declaring it a failure while not knowing a single detail about the imagined product. 


Wanna place bets on crippling and stifling DRM?

Don't get me wrong, i'm sure it will be be a fantastic product otherwise. But it's the 'otherwise' that will make it a fringe product.

 

Apple still doesn't let the Airport Express work with anything outside of iTunes. Result - [fringe]

AppleTV is so crippled that retail has to explain it can be jail-broken to function. Result - [fringe]

We will see if Apple comes out with the next 'best in class' product - or another Apple Hi-Fi (remember that game changer).

 

It needs to be free of iTunes to succeed. That's my point.


Edited by rain - 5/28/12 at 1:32pm
post #40 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by rain View Post

It needs to be free of iTunes to succeed. That's my point.

 

Unfortunately, it seems that iTunes is The Way. What it actually needs, given that, is the media monkeys to pull their heads out of their collective asses and start selling TV Shows for what, 10c / ep (20p to me) or some other measure so that one is discouraged to "pirate" them.

 

The whole "pirating" thing being a whole other issue all together (especially if your cable subscription includes them).

 

The media companies have to do a music industry and face the fucking music, frankly.

 

 

In other news, iBooks still doesn't cut it as a Bookstore. The selection in the UK makes it next to useless.

 

Apple have historically always tried to line up their suppliers behind a good price point (even if that isn't reflected internationally) before launch.

 

We can but hope (and pray to our god, who resides with the angels).

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