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Rumor has Apple TV set using 4K Ultra HD panel

updated 12:05 pm EDT, Wed March 27, 2013

Supply seen as major obstacle

Apple's long-anticipated TV set will use a 4K Ultra HD (3840x2160) panel, according to supply chain sources reached by DigiTimes. The sometimes-accurate trade paper says that Apple and its main manufacturing partner, Foxconn, have been in talks for some time about the TV's production schedule. Apple, though, has reportedly been worrying about where to get panels from, since Ultra HD suppliers are predicted to be working at nearly full capacity in 2013 just to meet demand from China-based TV vendors.

Other suppliers that might have the capacity to make Ultra HD panels are expected to be devoting most of their efforts to producing iPhone, iPad, and iPad mini panels instead. Apple is nevertheless said to be counting on LG Display to be able to mass-produce Ultra HD parts by the second half of 2013. If LG succeeds, DigiTimes suggests that an Apple TV could ship by the end of the year, but argues a more realistic date is early 2014.

The website has a mixed track record with Apple rumors. One unmentioned problem is that 4K TVs are still extremely expensive, costing tens of thousands of dollars. Apple could help solve that by entering mass production and/or eating some of the cost, but would still face the issue of a lack of 4K content. The format has yet to be standardized, and only a relatively handful of movies have been remastered at that resolution.

by MacNN Staff



  1. pairof9s

    Senior User

    Joined: 01-03-08

    Here's a novel idea...

    Why not build a plant in U.S. to manufacture Ultra HD panels?

  1. Steve Wilkinson

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 12-19-01

    If true....

    If this is true, it's the beginning of the end for Apple. And they say the current Apple TV is a 'hobby' market for Apple?!?!?! Sheesh! I suppose it's a product they could be working on, as a high-priced accessory for the enthusiasts with wads of cash burning holes in their pockets, but certainly isn't any kind of 'big news' or ultimately, the TV product Apple is working on. They would sell FAR less of these than watches. Apple is about selling lots these days. This would be stupid, to be frank.

    My guess, is that this is a rumor by people who *think* they know what would be cool if Apple produced. I suppose it kind of roughly fits with the whole Retina focus... though even there, I'm not sure these folks have thought through the whole 4k thing. It's mostly a toy for people with huge theatre rooms and lots of money. It isn't going to matter at any kind of viewing distance unless you have one super-huge screen.

    And, ultimately, it would be a non-event in the field of TV. Does that sound anything like Jobs' 'cracked it' for TV? It will much more likely involve content deals and a revamped version of the current Apple TV with more capabilities. That, would be news-worthy. Not this.

  1. sadmachine

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-02-04

    Jobs said...

    Apple is working on "re-inventing TV." How is selling a future tech that is way overpriced re-inventing anything? A TV is a large TV panel and the electronics that run it. To me, it seems obvious that the way Apple can re-invent is to revolutionize the interface and the way we consume TV. They can do this by selling a feature-rich Apple TV box w/o a TV panel and offer internet-based a la carte TV. There are slim margins on TV panels especially with the prices as low as they are now.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    I hope somebody, somewhere is collecting and archiving these Apple TV rumors.

  1. hayesk

    Professional Poster

    Joined: 09-17-99


    these are for a 21.5" iMac with Retina display.

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