It looks like we might finally have some solid intel on Apple’s iTV and not from some anonymous “people with familiar with the matter.” This news appears to come directly from Foxconn chief Terry Gou, the man whose factories actually build Apple products.
According to China Daily, “Gou said Foxconn is making preparations for iTV, Apple Inc’s rumored upcoming high-definition television, although development or manufacturing has yet to begin.” Apple’s upcoming TV also “reportedly features an aluminum construction, Siri, and FaceTime video calling,” says China Daily.
“Foxconn’s recent 50-50 joint venture factory with Sharp in Japan is one of the preparations made for the new device, Gou added,” according to the report.
It’s been a while since we’ve heard any buzz concerning Apple’s mythical television. Steve Jobs told Walter Isaacson in his biography, “I’d like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use. It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud. It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.”
The missing key to Jobs’ TV might have been Siri. As Techland contributor and technology analyst Tim Bajarin has noted, Siri is limited by the databases it’s connected to. With Apple TV, this wouldn’t be a problem, says Bajarin:
While Siri’s speech and artificial intelligence technology is focused on mobile today and tied to related databases such as Yelp, mapping services and more, in an Apple TV world, Siri would instead be tied to a database focused just on finding and accessing TV programs and online video content.
China Daily‘s report of the iTV corresponds closely with mock-ups created by Cult of Mac earlier this week, based on information apparently leaked by “a source” which described an HDTV similar to Apple’s Cinema Display equipped with a camera and Siri.