Foxconn, Apple's major manufacturing partner, has expressed interest in buying more shares in Sharp, according to Slash Gear. This is fueling rumors that the companies are working toward Apple's long-rumored iTV, although there has been no official word on the device's development.
Analysts have referred to the alleged Apple television set as the iTV and expect manufacturing to begin late in 2012. Foxconn currently has a 10 percent stake in Sharp after making an $808 million investment this March. The company also has a 46.6 percent stake in Sharp's LCD manufacturing plant in Sakai, Japan. The two companies are also said to be collaborating to open a new plant in Chengdu, China, for manufacturing iPhone displays.
The strong alliance puts Foxconn and Sharp in a good position to take on Apple iTV production, writes Rue Liu of Slash Gear.
Sharp's Japan plant is said to be more advanced in LCD technologies than competitor Samsung, and has an exclusive agreement with Corning, the creators of the scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass used in iPhone and iPad devices.
Some have questioned Apple's failure to mention the iTV in its recent Worldwide Developers Conference. According to Market Watch, this omission cost the company $16 billion in market valuation.
Clearly, Apple stock is vulnerable to a serious decline, writes Nigam Arora of Market Watch.
After the conference, shares fell from $588.50 to $571.17, resulting in a significant hit to Apple's market capitalization. Although Nigam notes that most Apple fans were not expecting an announcement about the rumored television, short-term traders were hoping CEO Tim Cook would reveal some information about the iTV.
It isn't uncommon for stock to increase into an event and then fall afterward. However, this time was different because Cook didn't conclude the keynote with the classic Steve Jobs one more thing revelation.
The Apple-branded television set will feature motion detection technology and a touchscreen remote, analyst Brian White predicted, according to PCMag. When White went to Computex in Taipei, Taiwan, in early June, he brought back some information on the forthcoming Apple device.
The data points during our trip indicate [Apple] will use a special type of motion detection technology on future full blown Apple TV, White wrote. Also, our contacts indicate a unique remote control with a touch panel form factor that looks similar to the iPad would be used to control device. The bezel is expected to be a plastic composition, rather than the aluminum unibody exterior that surrounds the MacBook Air.
Although Apple has not released much information on the television set, Cult of Mac recently reports having spoken with a source that had seen a working prototype of the device. This prototype resembled a larger version of Apple's current Cinema Display monitors.