Apple is reportedly gearing up to begin production on its long-rumored and highly anticipated connected HDTV - affectionately dubbed "iTV" by those who continue to report on the allegedly forthcoming new Apple product.
According to a new revelation from Jefferies analyst Peter Misek, Apple's television set could likely go into production as soon as February at a Sharp plant in Japan. If so, the TV could be ready for mass market introduction by June 2012.
Our checks indicate Sharp will provide panels for iPads, iPhones, and iTVs. We believe Apple has purchased $500M to $1B in equipment, Sharp and Apple have modified the IGZO (indium, gallium, zinc) technology to make much-improved displays, and Sharp and Apple may jointly produce OLED panels with a new production technology that has led to significant yield improvements.
According to Misek, the Sharp relationship will allow Apple to branch away from Samsung and "gain additional display capacity with leading-edge technology."
"Given Apple is fronting the capital spending, we also see these panels being procured at good prices, which means better-than-expected margins," he concluded.