Apple is reportedly working with component suppliers in Asia and testing out several designs for a television.
The Wall Street Journal cites unnamed sources from Apple’s suppliers, they stated that Hon Hai Precision Industry (AKA Foxconn) and Sharp were collaborating on the television set. One of the sources said that the television “isn’t a formal project yet. It is still the early stages of testing”.
Following Apple CEO Tim Cook’s recent interview, where he said the television was an area of “intense interest” and alluded to it as being something from The Jetsons, speculation is increasing that Apple is gearing up to enter the television market in 2013.
This news also suggests that Apple has not yet finalized the design of the Apple Television, and is still looking to tweak and test any potential designs. “These are people that have very high standards that are driven to do things beyond what other people have thought.” said Cook “and I think it’s that ambition and that desire and that thrust for excellence that make creating new things even more likely.”
However, the report also sates that Apple has “has been testing various TV prototypes for a number of years” and that Apple typically tests and develops products internally before doing so with outside suppliers.
The television is expected to be a large, high-definition offering with Facetime integration, built-in internet services and a unique interface.
Foxconn’s involvement with the television is unsurprising, given that it helps manufacturer much of Apple’s product line. Chairman Terry Gou recently invested in a Japanese liquid-crystal display factory that used to be owned by Sharp. The involvement of Sharp at this stage is slightly more surprising, but they may be assisting Foxconn in the display manufacture process following the sale.
Apple is ununlikely to collaborate with rival display manufacturer Samsung given the two companies recent legal wrangles, especially on an unannounced product.
Just when Apple is considering launching the Apple Television is debatable. That Apple hasn’t finished the design yet suggests that it will be in the later half of 2013, although the company is known to be able to move very quickly once it has decided what it is going to do.
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