Apple is close to beginning commercial manufacturing of the iTV for a late 2012 release, it has been reported.
The Guardian claims that Japanese firm Sharp has been asked to begin commercial production of the TV’s in February, ready for sale in the second half of next year.
The iTV will provide access to iCloud, allowing users to connect their television set to the internet whilst also allowing it to sync with other Apple devices.
It is also believed to respond to motion gestures and voice, with Steve Jobs having stated in his biography that it will offer “the simplest user interface you could imagine”.
It is estimated that Apple has spent $500 million to $1 billion on manufacturing equipment at the Sharp factory where work has already begun on setting up the production line to be ready for production of the TV’s.
Peter Misek, an analyst at American bank Jefferies, told The Guardian: “Other TV manufacturers have begun a scrambling search to identify what iTV will be able to do.
"They hope to avoid the fate of other industries and manufacturers who were caught flat-footed by Apple."
The reports of a late 2012 late backup earlier claims by research analyst Gene Munster, who said last month that the new tech could launch late next year or early 2013, based on meetings with contacts close to Asian component suppliers.