Apple TV

The rumor mill has been busy this morning spinning out more support for the contention that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will release a full television product later this year. The Foxconn Chairman said the company was making preparations to manufacture the product though the production had not yet began. The comments were apparently made at an inaugural address at the company’s new Shanghai headquarters.

The company has signed a deal to take ownership of 10% of Sharp, a move the chairman said was linked to Apple’s television project. The comments are so far alleged and were reported in the China Daily today. It is unknown how veracious they can be taken but the media has been burned before by the slew of rumors surrounding Apple’s release schedule and product lines.

An Apple television may be on the way but it is almost impossible to tell when it will come. The product is highly anticipated in several different sectors but nobody is sure of what form  it will take.

A full Apple television product has been rumored for some years at this stage. Speculation about the device has heated up in the last twelve months as Apple pulls further away from its last great innovation, the iPad. Shareholders and consumers seem to be expecting the firm to increase the level of innovation rather than keep it at a steady pace. The iPod was released in 2001, the iPhone in 2007 and the iPad in 2010.

Expectations have always been high at Apple but the success of its most recent products has created a pulsating mass of expectations from consumers. The speculation surrounding the Apple Television product is coming in closer to the iPad release than the iPad was tot he iPhone’s though the iPad is also selling far faster than any other among Apple’s numerous devices.

The firm, if it does release a television this year, will be expected to replicate its success again and again. If the trend of shortening awe periods continues the length of time it finally settles at will be key to the company’s future strategic plan. Today’s announcement may signal the beginning of a new era at Apple. An Apple Television could become the firm’s flagship product and might form a hub for its other products to orbit around. As Dan Loeb waxed lyrical about in his justification for purchasing stock in the company it is all about the ecosystem.

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