Speculation that Apple will launch a new “iTV” in 2012 has increased again, after Digitimes reported that Apple’s suppliers will start preparing materials for iTV sets in the first quarter of 2012. According to the report, Apple plans to launch the iTV in Q2 or Q3 2012.
Instead of a set-top box like the Apple TV, which was launched back in 2006, the Apple iTV will be a complete TV set. Reportedly, Samsung will produce the chips for the iTV, while Sharp will produce the displays. Apparently, Apple will be focusing on 32-inch and 37-inch iTV sets initially.
It has always been rumored that Apple has been working on TVs, but the rumors gained momentum after Steve Jobs’ demise, when Walter Isaacson said that Steve Jobs had finally cracked it.
Even the WSJ recently reported that Apple was moving forward with its TV plans and was in discussions with media executives to license content. Apple might also launch technology with the iTV, which would allow users to control it using voice commands and hand gestures.
The iTV may turn out to be Apple’s next great hit after the iPhone and the iPad, and may become its next major revenue generator. The TV industry in the United States was worth nearly $150 billion in 2011.