Rumors of an Apple-branded TV have been circling for years—could this finally be it?
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This morning, MacRumors announced that blurry photos of what appears to be an Apple-branded OLED TV had leaked via Chinese microblogger Weibo.
The fuzzy, smartphone-quality photos (humorously dubbed "Apple OLED TV spy photos") that leaked bring hoax-capturing ventures like Bigfoot and Nessie to mind, but we'd be lying if we said the idea of an Apple-branded OLED TV wasn't a little bit exciting.
Based on the very thin panel and lack of reflective distortion pictured in the leaked photos, OLED is the only screen tech that makes sense.
Rumors that Apple might manufacture a television that champions the company's tvOS software—think Roku, but with iTunes, the App store, and Apple's signature polish—have swirled for years. It's almost an inside joke amongst tech journos and TV geeks at this point, but it doesn't seem to quell any of the excitement whenever another leak or rumor pops up.
Given Apple's design and tech adoption habits, an OLED TV would make sense. They're widely considered the best of the best in picture quality, and LG Electronics has struggled for years now as the sole manufacturer of OLED models.
This year, heavy hitters Sony and Panasonic finally jumped on board, which perhaps gave OLED—long plagued by manufacturing difficulties and huge price tags—the "safe bet" status it would need for Apple to adopt it.
If it is the Apple TV, and it is an OLED, it would most definitely be manufactured by LG, currently the only integrated manufacturer of OLED panels large enough to be used in TVs. The TV in the images is simply way too thin to be anything but an OLED, and while they're extremely poor quality, there's no denying the signature Apple logo stamped on the back of the TV.
There are speculations about the size of the TV in the shots. I can say from experience, it's almost definitely a 55-inch model. Currently, LG only manufacturers 55-, 65-, and 77-inch OLED TVs, and it doesn't look big enough for the rest. That's assuming the photos are real at all, of course.
So, if these photos are genuine, and the rumors are true, it's good news for Apple TV lovers. You can not only get a silky smooth, built-in AppleTV experience but with an LG OLED panel backing it up, you'll also be getting some of the best picture quality around. The bad news? The first-ever Apple TV, wielding an OLED screen, would likely be jaw-droppingly expensive.
You might want to start budgeting, though. We're betting flying cars would be pricey too, and they'll probably come to market at the same time.