Apple Inc. (AAPL) will probably start selling ultra-high definition televisions with 65- and 55-inch screens during the fourth quarter of next year, according to a Tokyo-based analyst at Advanced Research Japan Co.
The Cupertino, California-based company is deciding on specifications, and the models likely will have a frameless design, Masahiko Ishino, an analyst at Advanced Research, said in an interview Oct. 18. Ishino declined to identify the people who gave him the information.
Takashi Takebayashi, a Tokyo-based spokesman for Apple, didn’t immediately respond to a telephone message seeking comment.
Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, before he died in 2011, told his biographer he had “finally cracked” how to build a TV with a simple user interface that would wirelessly synchronize content with Apple’s other devices. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said May 29 that TV is an area of “intense focus” for Apple as it seeks to add products that can build on the success of Macs, iPhones and iPads.
LG Display Co. (034220), Samsung (005930) Electronics Co. and Corning Inc. (GLW) may be among the suppliers for Apple’s TVs, which may be priced at about $1,500 to $2,500, Ishino said. LG Display may supply more than 70 percent of the liquid-crystal displays, Samsung may make graphic processing units and Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3 may be used as the cover, he said.
Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Group probably will be hired to assemble the devices, according to Ishino.
Apple is upgrading top-selling products ahead of the holiday shopping season. The company introduced the iPhone 5s and 5c last month, selling more than 9 million devices in the opening weekend. Cook will debut a high-definition iPad mini and a thinner iPad at a San Francisco event Oct. 22, people with knowledge of the plans have said.
Samsung and LG Electronics Inc. (066570) released 65- and 55-inch ultra-high definition TVs earlier this year to spark demand for sets and to combat competition from China and Japan. Ultra-high definition sets use conventional LCDs that offer resolution rivaling that of more expensive organic light-emitting diode, or OLED, screens.