Rumor: Apple iTV coming late 2012, Samsung & Sharp supplying components

Apple’s push into the smart TV business is picking up steam. According to a new report, the company is fielding orders from several key bidders looking to place their components inside the fabled iTV.

Rumor: Apple iTV coming late 2012, Samsung & Sharp supplying components

DigiTimes said on Wednesday that its myriad sources are at odds over which companies will actually land the mammoth contract. It revealed that while certain insiders believe Samsung will provide chips and Sharp would handle the product’s screen, others aren’t so sure. Some told the IT news site that manufacturing outfits Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Advanced Semiconductor Engineering and Siliconware Precision Industries could receive chip contracts.

Their sources also said Foxconn Electronics is a shoe-in for iTV assembler and could receive build orders by summer 2012, paving the way for a holiday launch. The Chinese company was previously tapped by Apple to manufacture its iPad and iPhone.

Apple’s foray into entertaining customers in the living room started with Apple TV, its streaming media player. It’s unclear how the device will fare when the company’s full-featured smart TV hits the market. So far, the set-top box has gobbled up market share, selling over four million units in 2011.

One fact that may continue to work in its favor is a $99 entry point. Apple’s iTV will undeniably dwarf that number. But if consumers have demonstrated anything in recent years, it’s that their wallets are bottomless when it comes to Apple’s ubiquitous products. (via Gigaom)