A new report claims that Apple's (NASDAQ:
) chief manufacturer, Foxconn, may release a series of
televisions -- including one as large as 130 inches -- in the
future. According to
, the manufacturer is a "major investor" in Taiwanese display
maker Chimei Innolux. Foxconn vice president Jeng-wu Tai
reportedly said that the new products will not interfere with
Chimei Innolux's product line.
Foxconn does not typically build its own products. Thus, it is
likely to build these TVs (70-, 80- and 130-inch models) for
be the beneficiary of this effort. The company lost
and has expressed "material doubt" about its ability to survive.
But Foxconn is still expected to build new panels for the firm's
10G line of televisions.
Apple is thought to have spent
more than $2 billion
to keep Sharp going. The Mac maker has not confirmed that Sharp
is a partner, but its displays are believed to be used in the
iPhone 5 and may also appear in the iPad Mini. If true, Apple
would need Sharp to continue manufacturing displays until it is
ready to switch to another supplier.
Considering the connections between these three firms, it is
wholly possible that Foxconn could build the displays for Sharp,
which in turn may provide them to Apple. While the company has
yet to say whether or not it will produce a television, Apple is
expected to build a TV within the next few years.
This could also lead to a Sharp buyout. If Apple is serious
about gaining its
independence from Samsung
, the Cupertino, California-based tech giant will need a new (and
very reliable) source of supplies. By acquiring Sharp, Apple
could reshape the company and use it to produce the products it
desires -- particularly new versions of the iPhone and iPad.
When Steve Jobs was still in control of Apple, this would not
have happened. The company would not have considered the idea of
owning a supplier. But under the guidance of its new chief
executive, Tim Cook, Apple has greatly transformed into a
Cook already broke one of Jobs' rules by
allowing Apple to produce an iPad Mini
. Jobs was vehemently against the idea of building a smaller a
lack of consumer interest
shows why. But early sales figures indicate that Cook may have
made the right decision. In combining sales of both the iPad Mini
and the fourth-generation iPad, Apple said that it sold
three million units worldwide
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