Apple’s iTV Could Have a Sharp Picture
There may be more to Apple’s developing relationship with Sharp than simple supply-chain diversification and OLED panels for future iPhones and iPads. The Japanese company is said to be playing a role in the production of the long-rumored Apple television.
Over at Jeffries, analyst Peter Misek suggests that Sharp is retooling a production line at its factory in Sakai specifically to manufacture modified amorphous TFT LCD panels that will be used in the so-called iTV. If all goes well, the line should be ready for commercial production by February of 2012, which means we could see Apple’s take on the TV by midyear.
But what form it will take remains a mystery — one that the entire TV industry is evidently eager to solve. “Based on our discussions, interestingly other TV manufacturers have begun a scrambling search to identify what iTV will be and do,” says Misek. “They hope to avoid the fate of other industries and manufacturers who were caught flat footed by Apple.”
Good luck with that, guys. Without Apple’s software acumen — or a rival to its new iCloud service, which will incorporate video sooner or later — that’s a tall order.
Says Misek: “Mainstream TV manufacturers are likely to be at least 6 to 12 months behind in a best-case scenario.”