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Apple TV set rumored unlikely for spring due to IGZO absence

updated 10:55 pm EST, Thu February 2, 2012

Apple TV set may miss Q2 without Sharp displays

Speculation that Apple might ship its own TV set as soon as the spring was cast into doubt by an unusual counter-rumor late Thursday. Supposed industry contacts told Digitimes that there weren't any signs Sharp was ready to ship the IGZO displays many believe Apple would be using for the device. Yields of workable displays were also considered a possible problem.

Apple was considered unlikely to go to OLED for the TV. Both LG's OLEDs and Samsung's Super OLED TV were considered their respective makers' centerpieces for the year, which could both give them a disincentive to help out Apple and consume their production.

IGZO, or indium gallium zinc oxide, is an approach to LCD technology developed by Sharp that would be an almost uniform improvement over current LCDs. It allows more light in and either reduces the amount of backlighting or permits a brighter display. It can simultaneously extend battery life and cost less to make at the same size than a technology like IPS.

Apple has been rumored considering IGZO for the iPad and iPhone, although at least the iPad plans may have also been scrapped.

Only a handful of rumors have suggested that Apple might reveal a TV set in spring. The more vocal, detailed claims have pointed to 2013 being more likely if the project happens at all.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Salty

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Kind of hope ...

    Kind of hope that Apple doesn't release one this year, I just bought a Sharp Quatron 40 inch and for however much my parents would appreciate the gift, I'm not sure they wouldn't also harass me about blowing so much cash on TVs in the space of a year.

  1. chas_m



    Don't worry

    Whatever you paid for that Sharp, the Apple TV set is likely to cost twice as much. :)

  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple TV -> cheaper

    If Apple does the obvious thing and simply improves the Apple TV box with an A6 chip + 1080p + microphone for Siri, it could be used with existing TV sets. But if Apple uses Sharp's IGZO technology to build a simple monitor, like a 50" HDTV resolution Thunderbolt Display, they could have a TV solution that's cheaper than a full-featured television.

    The 1080p Apple TV box could go for $100, same price as the current one. Bundle it with the 50" display (which could use IGZO LCD technology for lower cost) and Apple could have a price advantage as well as their signature ease-of-use advantage.

    But whatever. Hardware is easy. Software is harder (but Apple should have no problem there.) But it's the media content deals that are the gating factor for Apple in the TV space. It could take years. Record labels couldn't get anyone to pay for digital music until iTunes + iPod. In a few years the same thing could happen to the TV and movie studios.

    And Apple will be there to save them. iPod all over again in the TV space.

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