Apple is testing TV set designs – reports

12 Dec 2012

Apple TV set-top box, launched in March

Apple is reportedly collaborating with component suppliers in Asia, possibly Sharp and Foxconn, to test several high-resolution TV set designs.

A report in The Wall Street Journal today claimed that Apple has been working with some of its suppliers in Asia to test designs for a large-screen high-resolution TV.

According to the report, Hon Hai Precision Industry (known by its trade name Foxconn), which assembles the iPhone and iPad, has been working with Sharp on the design of the new TV.

Last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook added fuel to the fire when he hinted at the possibility of Apple re-inventing the TV during an interview with Brian Williams of NBC’s Rock Center. At the time, Cook said: “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.

“It’s an area of intense interest. I can’t say more than that.”

He said Apple’s interest in TV has gone beyond a “hobby”.

Apple already has a TV-based product called the Apple TV on the market. The set-top box interacts with other Apple devices and enables users to buy or rent TV and movie content, as well as access streaming services.

However, when the rumours flared up last week about the possibility of an Apple television appearing on the scene, former Apple products boss Jean-Louis Gassée wrote in a blog post entitled ‘The enduring Apple TV fantasy’ that it isn’t the TV that needs re-inventing, but the set-top box experience.

“Cook has one thing right: the set-top box experience does place one back in time by 20 to 30 years,” Gassée wrote.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic