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Apple big-screen TV rumor zombie RISES FROM THE DEAD

Forget the low-cost iPhone, forget the iWatch, here comes the Cupertinian boob tube!

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It's time to fire up the Apple big-screen TV rumor mill again: a report out of Taiwan says that Apple has held talks in the US with representatives of Corning, Foxconn, and G-Tech Optoelectronics for the purpose of getting Corning to share some of its Gorilla Glass expertise with G-Tech.

That expertise would assist the Taiwanese firm with the polishing and surface treatment processes necessary to manufacture a "large TV screen" (電視螢幕大) for an Apple product, according to "supply chain sources" speaking with the Economic Daily News (Google Translate version here).

The 電視螢幕大 would be available in 55- and 60-inch versions, EDN says, and would be launched in the first half of next year (明年上半年推出).

Rumors of a Cupertinian big-screen TV have been lacking in recent months, what with the impending iPhone refresh and the pie-in-sky iWatch soaking up all of the rumor-mongers' oxygen, but the idea of Apple making a serious foray into the living room has been around for at least four years.

Veteran – and decidedly unsuccessful – Apple predictor Gene Munster said in August 2009 that Apple would release a television in 2011, an incorrect guess that didn't prevent him from predicting in October 2011 that the Cupertinian boob-tube was, indeed on its way.

In December 2011, the Apple television was said to be planned for release during the 2012 holiday shopping season, but all that last year saw were rumors in May that one had been spotted and that Apple had placed orders with Foxconn to build the things, and a June claim by an analyst that an Apple big-screen with "a special type of motion detection technology" might launch in time for the 2012 holiday shopping season.

During that holiday season – in which, of course, no Apple television appeared – anticipation ramped up again when Tim Cook said in an NBC interview that television was "an area of intense interest." Speculation was so rampant that there were even rumblings later that month that Apple was testing 46- and 55-inch TVs that could possibly make their debut at the Consumer Electronics show this past January.

Didn't happen, of course – but that didn't stop one analyst from predicting this April that a 60-inch Apple TV would ship by the end of this year for $1,500 to $2,500, and that it would be controlled by a motion-sensing controller that you would wear on your finger and which would be called, naturally enough, an iRing.

So you'll have to forgive your humble Reg reporter if he finds it difficult to get all fired up about Yet Another Rumor™ coming out of the Far East concerning a possible Apple big-screen television on the way. Wake me when it actually happens.

But it is our sworn duty to keep you apprised of the current buzz. We report, you decide. ®

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