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Apple taps Sharp to develop iTV: rumor

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Its relationship with Samsung in tatters, Apple is reportedly working with Sharp to develop the rumored iTV, reports Mashable, citing claims by Jefferies analyst peter Misek.

According to Misek, Sharp is building TFT LCD panels for the so-called iTV, a device that still remains mostly a mystery — in fact, there has so far been no evidence that Apple has plans to release a full-blown television anytime soon. But Misek says that the iTV could be ready for production as soon as February, which would put release at sometime in the middle of 2012.

Apple has long used Samsung as one of its primary component suppliers. For instance, about 25 percent of the parts in Apple’s iPhone 4 come courtesy of Samsung. But with the two companies going at each other’s throats in court rooms around the world over patent infringement claims, Sharp has apparently swooped in to pick up the slack.

Rumors of an iTV have been floating around for years. The chatter picked up steam last month, however, after the release of Walter Isaacson’s official biography of late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who is quoted in the book as saying that he’d “finally cracked” the mystery of how to make a TV worthy of the Apple brand.

The solution, according to trusted New York Times technology reporter Nick Bilton, is the integration of Siri, Apple’s voice-controlled artificial intelligence engine, which is currently available in the iPhone 4S. Bilton says that Apple has been developing the iTV since 2007, and that it will arrive late next year, or early in 2013.

We are taking this news well salted, as many an analyst has started many an Apple rumor, which later proved false, or far from the original information. Still, it would seem that Apple is at least looking into the possibility of releasing an iTV (or whatever it may be called). But even if that’s true, there’s still no guarantee that it will ever be released. Stay tuned.

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Andrew Couts
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