Rumor: Apple suppliers nearly ready for TV sets

A new reports suggest supplies for Apple’s rumored television sets will soon be underway.

In the latest chapter of Apple’s hardly-secret push to get into the TV manufacturing business, suppliers are reportedly gearing up to start creating components for the new product line in early 2012.

Industry insider publication DigiTimes reported today that Apple should be able to launch its new branded TV sets by as early as the second quarter of 2012. The publication cited unnamed “industry sources.”

According to those sources, Apple is working on both a 32-inch and 37-inch version of the TV, which is now being dubbed the iTV.

Earlier reports had suggested a 2013 launch date for iTV, meaning Apple might have been working on this project for longer than most people originally thought.

Of course, this is not the first venture into the TV space for Apple. However, the company’s first Apple TV set-top box was one of its biggest flops. The new version, however, has been more successful and has been instrumental in proving that “smart TV” interest is growing at a very nice clip.

There is now growing speculation that a new Apple-branded TV set might be powered completely by voice commands. This after a Steve Jobs quotation surfaced in Walter Isaacson’s new biography, where he said a TV with “the simplest user interface you could imagine” was in the planning stages.

Imagine saying “Watch CNN” from your couch. Not only will the TV tune to the correctly channel but you might hear a voice saying “Ah, ready for the presidential debate tonight?” That’s just a complete pipe dream of an idea that we’re making up, but after seeing Siri in action on the iPhone 4S, nothing would surprise us.