updated 09:41 am EST, Wed December 12, 2012
Sources say product is still in 'early stage of testing'
Apple is testing a few designs for a large-sized TV set, according to supply chain sources reached by the Wall Street Journal. Unlike many similar reports, though, one source warns that Apple may or may not put a TV into production. "It isn't a formal project yet. It is still in the early stage of testing," the person says.
The Journal indicates that Apple's recent efforts have concentrated on collaborating with Sharp. The latter company has been struggling financially in the past couple of years, but at least partly because of this has become closely tied to Hon Hai (a.k.a. Foxconn), Apple's main manufacturing partner. Foxconn has a 37.6 percent stake in the operator of Sharp's Sakai LCD plant. Apple itself, meanwhile, is rumored to have invested as much as $2.3 billion to keep Sharp going, though the short-term interest is believed to be maintaining a supply of panels for iOS devices.
Perhaps signaling that Apple is serious about a TV is a recent comment by CEO Tim Cook. "When I go into my living room and turn on the TV, I feel like I have gone backwards in time by 20 to 30 years," he told NBC. "It's an area of intense interest. I can't say more than that."