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Thursday, January 11, 2007, 09:00 am PT (12:00 pm ET)

First 100,000 Apple TVs to start shipping later this month - report

Inventec Appliances has won the role of original electronics manufacturer (OEM) for Apple's recently introduced Apple TV and will begin shipping the first batch later this month, a published report said Thursday.

Taiwan-based DigiTimes cited industry sources in saying Apple's initial order for the set-top media device totals 100,000 units starting late January.

"Company sources at Inventec said Apple accounted for 70 percent of Inventec Appliances' sales in 2005 and 65 percent in 2006," the publication said.

"The sources said the company plans to reduce the proportion further in 2007 in order to lessen its reliance on a single customer."

It was previously reported that Apple would begin shipping Apple TV — then known only by the moniker iTV — in either late January or early February.

In premiering the digital media device at this week's Macworld Expo in San Francisco, Apple committed begin customer shipments "in February." It said customers can start placing pre-orders through its online store.

The $300 multimedia hub streams content over WiFi to big-screen televisions around the home and allows connections for up to five computers. It also includes a 40GB hard disk drive for some local storage.

As an Apple OEM, Inventec has largely been responsible for production of hard disk drive-based iPod digital music players. It declined to comment on the Apple TV report "citing customers confidentiality."