A report coming out China said on Friday that Apple’s much-rumored television set could be on its way in time for Christmas. The source of the story is the news that Hon Hai Precision (Foxconn’s parent company) will be taking delivery of LCD TV panels starting in the third quarter. That’s not only earlier than originally expected, Brian White of Topeka Capital said that these panels are intended for Apple’s television set.
The panels are being produced by Sharp, a company in which Hon Hai Precision invested US$800 million in March. Many have speculated, including analyst Brian White, that Hon Hai Precision was making this investment in order to secure panels for Apple’s television.
“A holiday launch would make for a very merry holiday season for Apple and consumers,” Mr. White wrote in a research note covered by Forbes. “We believe the pieces are in place for a launch soon, driving an entirely new $100 billion market opportunity or higher (given a higher ASP at Apple), while further strengthening the company’s digital grid and providing customers with a new TV experience.”
But wait, there’s more: Mr. White told clients that he learned from sources in Taipei that Apple will be using, “a special type of motion detection technology on the future full blown Apple TV, rather than touch technology.”
He also said that his sources have indicated that, “a unique remote control with a touch panel form factor that looks similar to the iPad would be used to control the device. The bezel is expected to be a plastic composition, rather than the aluminum unibody exterior that surrounds the MacBook Air.”
Mr. White has estimated that if Apple could take 2 percent of the $100 billion LCD TV market, the company could generate another $10 billion in sales, and that this would add between $1.50 and $2.00 in earnings per share.
Mr. White has been one of the most bullish analyst in saying that Apple will release a television set, something hinted at by the late Steve Jobs in Walter Isaacson’s biography Steve Jobs. Mr. Isaacson has added fuel to the fire, too, by claiming that he withheld information about the television set from his book out of deference to Apple, which has not announced the product yet.
Shares of AAPL rose on Friday, ending the day at $582.10, up $4.43 (+0.77 percent), on light volume of 10.2 million shares trading hands.
*In the interest of full disclosure, the author holds a tiny, almost insignificant share in AAPL stock that was not an influence in the creation of this article.