Report: Hon Hai source says 46 to 55-inch Apple TV set in testing, no panel supplier confirmed, 2013 launch unlikely

apple-tv-tree

Last week, a report from The Wall Street Journal claimed Apple’s much rumored HDTV set is now in the “early stages of testing” with partners Hon Hai Precision and Sharp. Today, we get more details surrounding the rumored product from the Taiwan national news agency’s English language Focus Taiwan. According to the report, citing sources close to Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., the supplier is testing Apple television designs, but the possibility of the product shipping in 2013 is “unlikely”:

Nevertheless, the source said it is unlikely that shipments of the appliances will begin as soon as the end of next year.

While the report from WSJ claimed Sharp was involved in the initial testing of the product with Hon Hai, Focus Taiwan’s source claimed the possibility of Sharp displaying panels for the product is “not high”:

Asked whether the new Apple TV will use display panels produced by Japan’s Sharp Corp., the source said the possibility is not high.

The source also claimed that Apple is looking at displays ranging from 46 inches to 55 inches, meaning the company likely wouldn’t rely on Sharp’s plants best suited for production of 60+ inch panels: Read more

Sharp agrees to share technology with Foxconn for new iPhone plant in Chengdu

Reuters reported today, while citing Japanese business daily Nikkei, that Sharp will supply its technology to Hon Hai for a new Foxconn plant that will produce panels for devices like Apple’s iPhone. The move follows an investment from Foxconn’s parent company Hon Hai Precision in March, which agreed to buy 46.48-percent of Sharp’s LCD plant in Japan and $844 million in new shares for an 11 percent stake of the company.

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Sharp Corp will supply technological know-how to Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co for a plant in China that will produce panels for Apple Inc’s iPhone and other consumer electronics products, the Nikkei business daily said on Thursday.

As for what technology Sharp will provide, the report only specified it will be “aimed at improving quality management” at a future plant in Chengdu. Sharp will reportedly receive “tens of billions of yen in fees” through the partnership, and it announced plans today to buy back Sony Corp’s 7.04-percent stake in its Sakai, Japan-based plant.

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In Japan, iTunes gains ringtones, 3G purchasing, iTunes Plus, Complete My Album, iTunes in the Cloud

Following yesterday’s story by the usually accurate Japanese blog Macotakara on Apple’s Japan arm rolling out iTunes in the Cloud for music, Japanese music journal AV Watch reported this morning that the California-based iPod maker has its sights set high on the 130 million people market. According to the report, customers in Japan are now finally able to purchase and download music on iOS devices through 3G cellular networks rather than just wireless hotspots, as before. The story also quoted Apple’s Senior iTunes Director for the Asia, Pacific, and Canada region Peter Lowe, who confirmed that iTunes Match would roll out to iTunes Japan in the second half of this year.

“We are keeping good relationship with Japanese music publishers,” said Lowe as he highlighted that iTunes Japan’s catalog now includes Sony Music’s Western artists, such as Beyonce, Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, and Sade. Interestingly, Apple did not allow the music journal to publish Lowe’s mug shot. In case you were wondering, iTunes in the Cloud files as the first-ever music re-downloading service in Japan. The iTunes Store launched in Japan in 2005…

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For many, issues watching YouTube on Apple TV

Owners of the Apple TV set-top box around the world took to Twitter to complain about an unknown issue affecting the device’s ability to stream YouTube clips through the Internet section of the main menu. According to reports, attempting to play any YouTube clip produces this error message:

No content was found. There is a problem communicating with YouTube. Try again later.

It would appear that some sort of backend issue is to blame, but it is inconclusive. The problem persisted since the past couple days; with a bunch of posts over at the Apple Support Communities indicating it is widespread. One poster claimed an Apple representative advised him to contact Google because this is “a YouTube issue.”

It seems to be particularly bad in Japan, Australia, Canada and various European countries, including the United Kingdom, Scotland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands, Denmark, Romania, Argentina and Croatia.

Not all users in the United States seem to be experiencing this issue, although some do. Resetting a router or the device will not help. Likewise, performing a factory restore to the latest 4.4.4 firmware did not do the trick for another poster. Some users are only able to see the videos in their History. Are you having same issues with your Apple TV? We would love to hear from you in the comments.


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Sharp rumored to ramp up iTV production in February for summer 2012 launch


An Apple television mockup by Adr-studio.it

More news concerning a rumored television set by Apple that several analysts and some media outlets have been calling for feverishly. According to a blog post published by The Tokyo Times news siteApple has commissioned Sharp to begin manufacturing large displays for an Apple-branded television set. Sharp should ramp up production in January:

American technology giant Apple is shifting partnerships in Japan towards Sharp, eyeing the production of a brand-new TV range which may be called iTV.

The product should hit the market by the summer 2012, the story goes. And according to New York Post, which referenced the original Tokyo Times report:

Apple has taken over the entire plant — pulling out of South Korea and its former partner Samsung — to insure the quality of the new set and to protect its secrecy.

The Tokyo Times story quotes Jefferies analyst Peter Misek as saying that Apple’s rivals have already begun “a scrambling search to identify what iTV will be and do”. The analyst wrote in a note to clients, based on his visit to Japan and talk with manufacturing executives:

It’s a huge deal for Sharp because they spent significant amounts of capital to try and expand capacity and upgrade their facilities. It gives Apple a partner that they can control manufacturing and secure supply at a lower price.

Please be advised that our confidence in The Tokyo Times isn’t very high…
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KDDI snags Apple’s iPhone in Japan breaking Softbank’s monopoly

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According to a Nikkei Business report (English), another iPhone carrier exclusive country has fallen. Softbank (in blue, above) in Japan has had a monopoly on the iPhone for the past three years in the world’s third largest economy. However, with the release of next iPhone, KDDI/au will carry the device. Both carriers still trail behind the leader NTT, as you can see in the un-translated image above.

According to the report, the iPhone will hit HDDI/au shops in November, a little later than the US expects to see them. If I’m not mistaken, KDDI operates a CDMA network, which is thought to be built into the upcoming worldphone iPhones.

This could still mean big market share gains for Apple in the country that Android hit by storm over the past two years.

KDDI’s shares were up 2.1% at Y642,000, while Softbank’s shares dropped 7.3% to Y2,413.

Apple moves to pull Samsung phones and tablets from Japan, seeks damages

Apple’s patent infringement claims against Samsung now include twelve courts in nine countries on four continents. Reuters reported this morning that Apple is now formally suing Samsung in Japan and seeking to block sales of Samsung phones and tablets in the country:

Apple has filed a suit with the Tokyo District Court seeking the suspension of sales of Galaxy S and its sequel S II smartphones and the Galaxy Tab 7 in Japan, according to sources close to the matter. The first hearing was held on Wednesday, the source said.

The iPhone maker is seeking 100 million yen, or approximately $1.3 million, in damages. Apple previously had filed four complaints before the Tokyo District Court, according to patent expert Florian Müller. Coincidentally, Japan is also another high-revenue market for Apple. Other countries where Apple took Samsung to court include Germany, U.K., U.S., Australia and more.
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Apple’s 5th Ave. Store evacuated due to earthquake [Image]

 

customers and employees waiting for the Fifth Avenue Store to re-open

You might have heard there was a little trembler on the east coast earlier today.  Perhaps due to the renovation of the glass cube overhead, we’re hearing that the whole 5th Avenue Store was evacuated and both customers and employees were relocated to Central Park while the structure was checked for damages (above).

Better safe than sorry. Read more

Steve Jobs sends message of support to Apple's team in Japan

Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs has sent out an email to the company’s team in Japan to share the message of support and help local employees cope with a series of terrifying disasters that have brought the country to standstill. The Macotakara website first published (and MacRumors confirmed it) the contents of Jobs’ email, posted here in its entirety.

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To Our Team in Japan,

We have all been following the unfolding disaster in Japan. Our hearts go out to you and your families, as well as all of your countrymen who have been touched by this tragedy.

If you need time or resources to visit or care for your families, please see HR and we will help you. If you are aware of any supplies that are needed, please also tell HR and we will do what we can to arrange delivery.

Again, our hearts go out to you during this unimaginable crisis.
Please stay safe.
Steve and the entire Executive Team

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