Foxconn chief Terry Gou let slip that his company is getting ready to start producing an Apple television.
According to China Daily, Gou held a news conference in Shanghai about his company's plans for the future. During that conversation, he mentioned that Foxconn is currently preparing its facilities to start producing Apple's long-rumoured television, though "development or manufacturing has yet to begin", the China Daily report said.
Gou's comments are notable for coming from a prominent executive who could be expected to have knowledge of Apple's plans. The vast majority of reports surrounding the development of the television have come from unidentified sources and analysts claiming insight into Apple's plans. For its part, Apple has stayed tight lipped on any possibility that it might be working on a television.
Still, the rumours keep coming, and they're suggesting, among other things, that Apple's television could be equipped with support for the company's virtual personal assistant Siri, a built-in camera for FaceTime and access to the App Store.
Analysts have said for years that Apple is planning to launch a television, but it became a huge topic last year when Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson revealed that the company's co-founder had "cracked" the code for developing a user-friendly television.
"I'd like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use," Jobs told Isaacson. "It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud. It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it."
Following that, Bloomberg reported, citing several sources, that Apple had enlisted its vice president of consumer applications, Jeff Robbin, to head up the team developing the television, though, at that time, there was a chance that it might have been shelved.
Based on Gou's comments, however, it doesn't appear that this happened. And now that Gou has all but confirmed that production will be starting at some point, questions of when the television might launch will only intensify. Back in March, JP Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz said that the company will likely launch its television in 2014, and not at the end of this year or next year, as many of his colleagues have claimed.
One other interesting note from Gou's comments: Foxconn's recent decision to buy a chunk of Sharp's LCD TV factory in Sakai, Japan, was the result of preparations that it's making for Apple's upcoming television.