May 15, 2012 at 2:07 PM ET
A report in China Daily last week contained a suggestion from Chinese manufacturing giant Foxconn's CEO that the company was preparing to manufacture Apple's rumored "iTV". The idea set off a flurry of speculation around the Internet, but Foxconn has poured cold water on the situation, saying that the remarks were interpreted wrongly.
The original report, from May 11th, read:
[Foxconn CEO Terry] Gou said Foxconn is making preparations for iTV, Apple Inc's rumored upcoming high-definition television, although development or manufacturing has yet to begin.
However, in a statement provided to The Next Web, Foxconn spokespeople now say that "[a]ny reports that Foxconn confirmed that it is preparing to produce a specific product for any customer are not accurate."
There's a remote possibility that this is merely damage control, but the CEO of a company employing 1.2 million people didn't get the job by blurting out the top-secret projects of clients like Apple. It's likely that at the time, his remarks were more to the effect that Foxconn is preparing for the possibility of such a device, since both it and its new partner Sharp would likely be a major part of its manufacture.
Rumors surrounding the iTV have endowed it with many popular Apple qualities: Aluminum construction, Siri voice controls, FaceTime video chat, and tight integration with existing Apple products and platforms such as iTunes and iOS. While this intensity of rumors has historically pointed to a real product in the works, the timing of its release is still largely a mystery. Some speculate that it will be out by the end of 2012, while others think it will be at least a year before Apple has the design and manufacturing in place for such a big launch.
One thing is for sure: it won't be announced next month at WWDC. Rumor-mongerers have already reserved that for the new line of MacBooks.
Devin Coldewey is acontributing writer for msnbc.com. His personal website iscoldewey.cc.