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Apple reportedly still mulling iTV chip manufacturer, late 2012 launch again rumored

Following reports yesterday that Apple’s suppliers are prepping an HDTV in 32-inch and 37-inch variants for a summer 2012 launch, a new report from DigiTimes today suggested Apple will use its own custom chips, similar to the A5 chips found in iPhone 4S and iPad 2.

According to the report, three manufacturers are currently bidding to win contracts to provide components for Apple’s smart TV including: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Siliconware Precision Industries, and Advanced Semiconductor Engineering.

There were originally reports in July that TSMC signed a foundry agreement with Apple to begin testing next-generation A6 chips using its 28-nanometer process and 3D stacking technologies. That was followed by reports in October that Samsung began production of an A6 chip at its Texas factory. The A6 chip is expected to appear in next-gen iOS devices.

Apple’s longtime manufacturing partner Foxconn Electronics is expected to win contracts for the assembly of the Apple HDTV. The report also mentions that Apple plans to complete hardware standards for the device by Q2 in 2012. Apple will apparently deal directly with contract manufacturers to provide components, much the same as the iPhone and iPad.

Yesterday’s report claimed that Samsung would be providing chips for an Apple branded HDTV, along with Sharp supplying displays. Today’s report also confirmed a late 2012 launch.

Stern Agee’s Shaw Wu backs up the reports and claims Apple should pursue a “disruptive” internet streaming model to rival traditional cable providers and subscriptions, despite the licensing hurdles. He also wrote that Apple should continue its Apple TV set-top box product line, something that also backs up the DigiTimes report from yesterday:

Frankly, We Think AAPL Should Enter TV Space. Frankly, we are not surprised and believe AAPL should enter the TV space as this is arguably the only major end market the company is not currently participating in a bigger way. Moreover, we have picked up several data points indicating activity from component makers to manufacturing partners as well as AAPL’s own patent filings from at least 2005. So far, there is the current Apple TV set-top box appliance which launched in January.

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Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.