Apple iTV Rumours: Release date, price, specs, screen size

Expected to launch in 2013 we bring you all the latest Apple iTV rumours from the unit's price and screen sizes to release date and specs

 

The Apple iTV has remained nothing more than a hushed rumour since it was first talked about back in 2009, since then we've had numerous new versions of the iPhone, iPad and even a new thinner iMac.

That hasn't stopped the rumour mill from turning and with the company now looking at a change in direction the Apple iTV could be the flagship for Tim Cook and Jony Ive's brave new Apple.

With no leaked images and even less in the way of hard evidence the iTV has remained a constant source of interest not least because of the reputation Apple has with taking an idea and then putting their own spin on it.

Whilst attention has firmly been focused on the upcoming iPhone 5S and iPad 5 it seems as though Apple are far from giving up on their next-gen TV proposition with patent reports suggesting that the company is in fact now in talks with major manufacturers with the aim to start producing the Apple iTV.

Apple iTV: Release date

In a strange twist the latest news to land about Apple's rumoured iTV is that it may not happen at all. Following a new book by former Apple reporter Yukari Iwatani Kane, Kane notes that when asked about the idea of Apple making a TV set Steve Jobs was utterly against the idea, even when the HDTV market was considered 'healthy'.

When asked outright Jobs replied, “No, TV is a terrible business. They don’t turn over and the margins suck.”

Whilst it's true that many things have changed at Apple since Job's passing it's clear that analysts are beginning to be very skeptical about Apple's involvement in the sector with IHS consumer devices analyst Jusy Hong pointing out that the HDTV market is now in a state of fairly steady decline with growth dropping by six per cent year after year.

That said it's hard to argue with the Apple's CEO Tim Cook who recently offered the closest indication yet that the iPhone and iPad maker is planning to out a full television service.

Speaking to NBC News, Mr Cook confirmed the TV market was "of intense interest," to the folks at Cupertino.

Speaking earlier this year at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference, Cook described the current Apple TV offering as a ‘hobby’, whilst revealing Apple shifted just shy of 3 million Apple TV units during 2011, 1 million of which came in the year’s final quarter.

Stating that Apple “doesn’t do hobbies as a general rule,” Cook revealed that the existing Apple TV unit was testing the waters of the television sector stating the company would need something “special” in order to make TV a “serious category” for Apple.

“The reason we call it a hobby is because we don’t want to send a message to you or our shareholders that we think the market for it is the size of our other businesses,“ Cook said of Apple TV. He added that he believed Apple could “find something that was larger” so that its ventures into the television industry “could go more main-market.”

As if to confirm this skepticism Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst at  KGI Security has claimed that the Apple iTV release date won't be until 2015, presumably so Apple can focus on the iPhone 6 and the upcoming iWatch that many believe will finally land next year.

Jefferies analyst Peter Misek claims he saw "early production evidence of iTV" on a trip to Apple manufacturing plants in China during the summer. Suggesting Apple will produce between two and five million units ready for a launch. Misek said the manufacturer would introduce a number of "specialty components" to the process.

Adding to this onslaught of speculation is the latest news from the Wall Street Journal that Foxconn and Sharp are currently developing prototype designs in Asia. An unnamed source inside one of Apple’s suppliers apparently told the WSJ that the companies were working on a number of prototypes but that: “It isn’t a formal product yet. It is still in the early stages of testing”.

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