The latest rumors on Apple's revolutionary television set come from Australian technology site Smarthouse, citing anonymous sources in Japan working at a major company constructing the sets. It's possible the source is with Sharp, which will reportedly help Apple build the iTV due to the company's ongoing competition with Samsung Electronics.
Code recently discovered within the iOS 5.1 beta update had revealed Apple was working on two new tablet devices, a new smartphone and a new Apple TV, which would feature the newest version of Bluetooth, called Bluetooth Smart (4.0). Manufactured by Broadcom, Bluetooth 4.0 prides itself on its coexistence algorithms and ability to connect with a greater number of wireless devices faster and more reliably. Assuming Apple plans to port Siri to its future devices, it's entirely likely Siri could help users control and navigate the Apple iTV interface, especially for searching and discovering content in the same way as on the iPhone 4S.
We believe Apple could use Siri, its voice recognition, personal assistant technology to bolster its TV offering and simplify the chore of inputting information like show titles, or actor names, into a TV (typically with a remote), said Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray.
These rumors align with Jobs' vision of the Apple iTV, which was exposed in Walter Isaacson's biography of the late Apple founder.
I'd like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use, Jobs told Isaacson. It would be seamlessly synched with all of your devices and with iCloud. It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.
Jobs' goal was to reduce the amount of clutter in the TV watching experience, namely in the number of remotes needed to control the cable channels, as well as peripherals like DVD players and video game systems. Bluetooth could help make the Apple iTV into a gaming port as well. Given that Bluetooth connects wireless devices almost instantly, users could potentially play games or make gestures on their iOS devices, including their iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, to control what's on the Apple iTV screen.
The BCM4330 implements the highly sophisticated Enhanced Collaborative Coexistence radio coexistence algorithms and hardware mechanisms, allowing for an extremely collaborative Bluetooth coexistence scheme along with coexistence support for external radios (such as GPS, WiMax, or Ultra Wide-band radio technologies, as well as cellular radios) and single shared antenna (2.4 GHz antenna for Bluetooth and WLAN), Broadcom said. As a result, enhanced overall quality for simultaneous voice, video, and data transmission on a handheld system is achieved.
Bluetooth 4.0 can also potentially leverage the gyroscopes and accelerometers within the iOS devices to make the handheld into a motion-sensitive game controller. For instance, if you are playing a driving game and you hold your phone like you would a wheel, the car on the screen could mirror the motion.
Munster believes Apple could sell its line of TVs for twice the price of an alternative TV, thanks to its clean, simple and inclusive interface. This would make sense, since Apple's luxury items, such as the iPhone 4S and iPad 2, are both high-end gadgets that people are happy to pay top dollar for. Munster believes Apple could launch the iTV by the end of 2012.
iCloud stores TV shows and pictures, but we believe Apple may add movies, Munster said. While a solution for live TV combined with previously aired shows 'recorded' in the cloud remains a significant hurdle, perhaps this code is precisely what Jobs believed he has 'cracked.'
Jobs' biographer, on the other hand, believes we won't see the iTV device for a long time.
He told me it was very theoretical, Isaacson said. These were theoretical things they were thinking about in the future.
In October, Bloomberg reported Jeff Robbin, Apple's VP of consumer applications, was heading a team to build the Apple iTV. Robbin, who joined the Cupertino, Calif.-based company more than a decade ago, previously helped Apple create the iPod and the iTunes platform.