Apple, Inc. (AAPL: Quote) may be in the process of launching its long-rumored Smart TV, with reports on Tuesday suggesting that trial production of these TV sets has already begun.
According to a media outlet in China, Apple's Chinese manufacturing partner Foxconn has already been entrusted to produce the new so-called iTV on a trial basis at its Shenzhen factory.
Though Foxconn continues to deny that it is making the TV, Apple analyst Gene Munster has recently predicted that Apple would announce the television this December 2012, and begin shipping it in early 2013.
Foxconn has a long history of churning out Apple products, from MacBooks to iDevices, and has a week back acquired a 50 per cent share in Sharp's TV production business.
Apple has long been rumored to be looking to enter the TV market with an HDTV that will, according to one report, look much like the company's current LED Cinema Display.
The Internet-connected TV sets will reportedly come in sizes ranging from 42 inches to 55 inches, with pricing ranging between $1,500 and $2,000. It is said to be encompassed in an aluminum casing, coming with iOS, Siri voice controls and an iSight camera for FaceTime video chats.
The likely launch of an Apple TV product will help drive future growth and create a new $100 billion market opportunity for the company. The Apple TV is expected to capture up to 10 percent of the market in the first couple of years.
The launch of The Apple flat-panel TV's could be the first major innovation to be launched by Apple since its iconic co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs died in October 2011 following a long battle with pancreatic cancer.
In Tuesday's regular trading session, AAPL is currently trading at $571.32, up $9.03 or 1.61% on a volume of 5.86 million shares. In the past 52-week period, the stock has been trading in a range of $310.50 to $644.00.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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