Chipmakers said to be bidding on Apple iTV contracts

Hot on the heels of a report about Apple’s (s aapl) iTV plans on Tuesday, there are fresh stories about its potential components and supplier partners out on Wednesday morning. DigiTimes cited¬†new supply-chain sources saying that Apple is entertaining bids from three chipmakers for the processor that will power the Apple smart TV.
Tuesday’s report suggested that Samsung would be responsible for the chip running the iTV, which would likely be another in Apple’s A-series of in-house-designed processors based on licensed ARM (s armh) designs. On Wednesday DigiTimes’ source said that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE) and Siliconware Precision Industries (SPIL) are also in the running for Apple TV component orders. TSMC has previously been reported as a possible replacement for Samsung for the production of its next-generation A6 processor, although that report was later¬†contradicted.
Another new element reported on Wednesday in the Apple iTV story is that it will be assembled by Foxconn, according to industry sources. That’s not surprising, given that Foxconn handles a huge chunk of Apple’s manufacturing requirements. The production standards for the TV set are expected to be finalized by the end of the second quarter of 2012, with shipping beginning at the end of the year, according to the new sources. That’s in line with Tuesday’s report, which suggested we would see the iTV hit the market sometime in the last half of 2012.
Apple television set rumors have been around for a while, mostly sparked by analyst claims that such a device was in the works. Comments made by Steve Jobs in his recently released biography lent more weight to the claims, and now supply-chain reports seem to be streaming in steadily. Roughly the same thing happened with the iPad, with rumors of an Apple tablet in development circulating for years before the actual device’s launch. We now know, of course, that the iPad was actually in development prior to the iPhone, thanks again to details revealed in Steve Jobs’ biography.