Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn says its chief executive made no such mention of working on an Apple TV set at a news conference in Shanghai last week, and that any reports otherwise are inaccurate.
In a statement issued to The Next Web, the company said that Chief Executive Terry Gou "made it very clear that he would neither confirm nor speculate about Foxconn's involvement in the product," and that it is the company's policy not to talk about what it is working on for any customer.
"At no time did [Gou] confirm that Foxconn was in development or manufacturing stages for any product for any of its customers," Foxconn said. "He did say that Foxconn is always prepared to meet the manufacturing needs of customers should they determine that they wish to work with Foxconn in the production of any of their products."
The company added that any reports saying otherwise were "not accurate."
The original source of the report came from China Daily. In a report about Foxconn beginning construction on its new headquarters in Shanghai, the outlet said the company was "making preparations for iTV, Apple's Inc.'s rumored upcoming high-definition television," attributing that information to Gou, while noting that "development or manufacturing has yet to begin." Other descriptive aspects, like "an aluminum construction, Siri and FaceTime video calling," were listed as reported features.
Apple's interest in making a TV set remains a rumor, but one that's rooted in some fact. Late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs told biographer Walter Isaacson that he wanted "to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use," and that he "finally cracked it." Since then there has been no shortage of rumors that suggest Apple is still at work on such a product. (See.)
Foxconn's full statement is below:
In remarks at a media briefing during the groundbreaking of Foxconn's new China headquarters in Shanghai on May 10, Terry Gou, Foxconn's Chief Executive Officer, made it very clear that he would neither confirm nor speculate about Foxconn's involvement in the production of any product for any customer because Foxconn's policy is not to comment on any customers or their products.
At no time did he confirm that Foxconn was in development or manufacturing stages for any product for any of its customers. He did say that Foxconn is always prepared to meet the manufacturing needs of customers should they determine that they wish to work with Foxconn in the production of any of their products. Any reports that Foxconn confirmed that it is preparing to produce a specific product for any customer are not accurate.