Apple iTV 4K television rumoured to launch in next 12 months

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Apple may have shown no public interest in the television industry, but rumours of a TV designed by Cupertino refuse to die down. Every year we hear reports of Apple planning to launch its much-anticipated (at least by the rumour blogs) iTV, and true to the tradition, Apple Insider quotes a report in DigiTimes that states that Apple plans to release its TV in the next 12 months.

According to supply chain sources of DigiTimes, the television, to be called 'iTV', will sport 3,840x2,160 pixel resolution and come with voice and motion controls, as well as Internet connectivity. As the report notes, the mooted resolution would put the television in the category of 4K televisions, that were quite the rage at this year's CES in Las Vegas.

The report goes on to state that Apple is reportedly looking for a fresh supplier for the TV panel, as its own suppliers are working at full-capacity manufacturing displays for iPhone and iPad. The report says that Apple may look at LG display as the partner who can manufacture the panels starting end of this year, or early 2014, giving the iTV a likely release date in the next 12 months.

According to the sources, Apple and manufacturing partner Foxconn have been discussing the mass production of UHDTVs for "quite some time," but the Cupertino company is said to be looking for a reliable panel supplier. The publication noted that most firms capable of building the high-resolution displays will already be at near full capacity in 2013 to satiate demand from Chinese vendors.

While Apple's own display suppliers are capable of producing panels for a standalone television, they are reportedly focused on making components for the iPhone, iPad and iPad mini. LG Display will likely be able to mass produce the necessary panel sizes by the second half of 2013. This means a 4K iTV could launch by year's end, the sources say, but is more likely to happen in early 2014.

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