Apple reportedly manufacturing test batch of first smart TVs

Posted:
in Genius Bar edited January 2014
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."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 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.

  • Reply 2 of 101
    msimpsonmsimpson Posts: 452member


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


     


    Apple TV's will come with free porn


     


     

  • Reply 3 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.
  • Reply 4 of 101
    inklinginkling Posts: 731member


    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.

  • Reply 5 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.
  • Reply 6 of 101
    drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member


    Can't wait to see the simpler TV set.

  • Reply 7 of 101
    mmtm1983mmtm1983 Posts: 31member


    iScreen


    iPanel


    iView


    iEye


    iSee


    iMax


    iTV


    Apple TV


    iWindow


     


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

  • Reply 8 of 101
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MMTM1983 View Post

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


     


    "Unused product concept #524"

  • Reply 9 of 101
    bmason1270bmason1270 Posts: 258member
    inkling wrote: »
    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?
  • Reply 10 of 101
    timmydaxtimmydax Posts: 284member
    < /i >
  • Reply 11 of 101
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    inkling wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 101
    rainrain Posts: 538member
    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
  • Reply 13 of 101
    isaidsoisaidso Posts: 750member


    The New iMac.

  • Reply 14 of 101
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member

    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.

  • Reply 15 of 101
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,190member

    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. 

  • Reply 16 of 101
    suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,765member

    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.

  • Reply 17 of 101
    zklauszzklausz Posts: 18member


    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.

  • Reply 18 of 101
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,788member


    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.

  • Reply 19 of 101
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member

    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.

  • Reply 20 of 101
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member


    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.

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