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Apple TV Development Denied by Foxconn

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Just days after Foxconn's CEO reportedly revealed that Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) was preparing for the launch of its first television, the Chinese manufacturing corporation has released a statement denying the whole thing.

"[Foxconn chief Terry Gou] neither [confirmed] nor [speculated] about Foxconn's involvement in the production of any product,” the company told The Next Web (via Cult of Mac). Foxconn added that it does not comment on any of its customers or its customers' products.

End of story, right?

Wrong.

The assumption now is that the report was a load of crap, that Chin Daily (the original source of the information) made a mistake, or that someone deliberately reported false information to produce a big story.

CNNMoney's Philip Elmer-DeWitt makes a good point: "If Gou really said this, it would be -- for all the reasons stated above -- very big news. So how is it that none of the other reporters covering the event heard it? Not Reuters' John Ruwitch. Not Bloomberg's Tim Culpin. Not the AP's Elaine Kurtenbach."

Given the public nature of the event where Gou was speaking, it's safe to assume that Elmer-DeWitt is correct in his assessment of the situation. But it would be crazy for us to automatically disregard this or any other rumor as being "false" because one of the companies involved denied it a few days after the fact.

For one thing, why did the denial take so long? Things move fast on the Internet. Last week, the story was big news. Today, not so much. Yet it took an entire weekend for Foxconn to prepare a terse response, which was apparently sent to The Next Web and no one else.

That's a little odd, wouldn't you say?

As I stated last week, Gou has nothing to gain by lying, which could (in theory) upset the ultra-secretive practices of one its most important customers. Meanwhile, China Daily had everything to gain by lying -- most notably the chance to receive a rapid increase in website traffic.

That doesn't mean that China Daily lied. And it doesn't mean that (even if the report is false) Apple isn't developing a television. It just means that in this circumstance, Foxconn may or may not have wanted to stir the rumor mill. China Daily may or may not have been looking for hits. And reporters may or may not be making a mountain out of a molehill.

Follow me @LouisBedigianBZ

 

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