Canada’s two largest telecoms already have Apple’s rumored iTV in their testing labs, according to The Globe and Mail. Rogers and BCE have reportedly been “in talks” with Apple to become launch partners for the upcoming IP-based television.
The iTV will have Siri integration and users will be able to control programming with their voices or through hand gestures, according to the report.
“They’re not closed to doing it with one [company] or doing it with two,” said one source who is familiar with the talks. “They’re looking for a partner. They’re looking for someone with wireless and broadband capabilities.”
Another source, also speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Rogers and Bell already have the product in their labs.
All three companies declined comment.
While I find it hard to believe that Apple has given any such future product to a couple of Canadian telecoms, parts of The Globe and Mail’s report do make sense. We’ve been hearing from industry analysts that Apple has been buying up HDTV display panels to launch a standalone television with web integration this year. Many outlets have also suggested that Apple is planning to bring Siri to the living room.
Another interesting part of The Globe and Mail’s report:
Viewers can then control the TV by voice or hand gestures, all from the comfort of a couch. An on-screen keyboard, meanwhile, can also be activated in a similar manner, allowing viewers to surf the web, conduct video chats and use social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook – all without any physical interface.
We have also heard of Apple working on a Microsoft Kinect-like interface for the iTV. An onscreen keyboard doesn’t sound like Apple, though. Our own Jeremy Toeman makes a strong argument that Apple will implement an AirPlay-like experience into its HDTV.
On Apple allowing Rogers and BCE to test the iTV in their own labs, I have two words: No. Way.