In an interview with his biographer Walter Isaacson, the late Steve Jobs claimed that Apple had "cracked" the television set. There's been a lot of speculation since then about what this mysterious "crackage" could consist of, and now there is bound to be even more: The so-called "iTV" is apparently totally real and set to enter production soon, according to an executive at one of Apple's largest suppliers.
Yeah, the Apple television is real, as Foxconn CEO Terry Gou told China Daily that his company is preparing for production of what the Chinese paper calls the "iTV." Though the article does not say when production will begin, or when we can expect a release date, the China Daily did make some predictions on the features of the upcoming iTV, speculating that Apple's television set will feature an aluminum body, voice control via Siri, and FaceTime calling, with a front-facing camera embedded at the top of the television's frame.
(NOTE: Sounds a lot like Samsung's SmartTV, which features video-calling, voice control, and an aluminum finish. Let the lawsuits begin!)
We've long known that Apple has been tinkering with a television set -- Jobs' "cracked it" quote confirmed that -- but no one really knew when it would come out, or what phase of production Apple was in, or if Apple would even release one for consumers. Apple, like all technology companies, builds plenty of prototype devices that never see the light of day in retail stores.
That hasn't stopped rampant speculation, however: Analysts following Apple have thrown out all kinds of release dates and manufacturing predictions over the past several months, with forecasts for release from summer 2012 to some time in 2014. The most common prediction is that Apple's TV set will land in winter 2012, or just in time for Christmas. If Foxconn begins production soon, and all goes well, that timeframe sounds realistic.
Elsewhere in Apple television rumorology this week, Apple site Cult of Mac claims that a source of theirs has seen a prototype of the Apple television. Cult of Mac's source mostly echoes China Daily's report on specs and features, report that the television has Siri, a built-in camera for FaceTime video calls, and capability to stream your content from iPad, iPhone, or MacBook onto the TV screen. CoM's source was unnamed, and Cult of Mac didn't specify how their source might have seen the prototype.
An Apple spokesperson declined to comment on rumors and speculation.
For more rumors and speculation on what's coming up for Apple, however, you can check out our latest edition of This Week in Apple Rumors! It's HuffPost Tech's weekly look at all the Apple rumors that are fit to print (and also some that aren't). Brush up on those below: