Rumors of Apple TV sets have been swirling for months. And the Taiwanese publication DigiTimes added to the mix today, with word that its supplier sources say Apple is ordering components to build 32-inch and 37-inch TVs that should go on sale in the second half of 2012.
There have been rumors floating around for years that Apple is building its own TV. The speculation got amped up this fall after Walter Isaacson revealed in his biography of former Apple CEO Steve Jobs that Apple had finally figured out how to build a user-friendly integrated TV.
"I'd like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use," Jobs was quoted as saying. "It would be seamlessly synched with all of your devices and with iCloud. It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it."
A recent Wall Street Journal article, citing sources, claimed that Apple is already talking to media executives about what content to make available for the Apple TV set. In October, Bloomberg reported that its own sources have said Apple has tapped iTunes creator Jeff Robbin to head up the television's development. Those sources said Apple currently has a TV prototype.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, who has been one of the biggest drivers behind chatter about potential Apple TV sets, has been speculating that Apple may charge up to twice as much as regular TV makers for its integrated TV sets. In other words if a regular TV costs $800, Apple's could cost as much as $1,600 for the same size and similar specs.
It's difficult to say whether any of these rumors will come to fruition. Jobs' biographer Isaacson threw cold water on the notion that an Apple TV set would come to market anytime soon when he was interviewed by CNET's Josh Lowensohn. Isaacson said in that interview that Apple wasn't "close at all" to getting its integrated TVs on the market.
"He told me it was very theoretical," Isaacson said of Jobs. "These were theoretical things they were thinking about in the future."