Pacific Money

The Next Big Thing: Apple iTV – Coming in 2013?

Apple could be aiming to revolutionize television as we know it. Will it happen in 2013?

Consumers eagerly awaiting the day when they can own Apple’s highly anticipated iTV hopefully have some patience, as the product isn’t likely to hit stores until early next year, according to Digitimes.

Digitimes reports that Apple is running into some problems with its global supply chains. In particular it is struggling to find a company capable of mass producing the 4K Ultra High-Definition displays (UHDs) that Apple reportedly intends to feature on its iTVs.

4K UHD is one of the two resolutions for UHDs in consumer products, the other being an 8K UHD. 4K UHDs have a resolution of 3840 pixels × 2160 pixels with the 4K referring to the horizontal resolutions in these UHDs, which are of the order of 4,000 pixels.

According to Digitimes, Apple has been in discussions with multiple Taiwanese companies which is where most of the Ultra HD TV panel makers are located. Most of the UHD panel makers, however, are said to be operating at near full capacity through the end of this year to meet the demand coming from China-based TV producers.

Meanwhile other companies that Apple has a running relationship with are using their capacity to produce other Apple products like the iPhone and iPad, according to Digitimes.

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This has reportedly left Apple hoping that LG Display will have the needed capacity to begin mass producing iTVs in the second half of the year. This would allow Apple to possibly release iTVs late this year or, most likely, in early 2014.

Earlier analysts had predicted the iTV would be out this year in time for the holiday season in the U.S., which begins in earnest after Thanksgiving in November. Some of these analysts have recently reassessed, however, and now believe the iTV won’t hit stores until early next year.

The good news is that LG Display is one of Apple’s favorite display suppliers, according to CNET, and provides the display on a number of Apple products already, such as the iPad and Macbook Pro computers.

Apple executives have been dropping hints of their desire to revolutionize the way people watch television over the past few months. In December 2012, for instance, CEO Tim Cook said in an interview: “When I go into my living room and turn on the TV, I feel like I have gone backwards in time by 20 to 30 years. It’s an area of intense interest. I can’t say more than that.”

Similarly, in Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs, the Apple founder is quoted as saying: “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.”