Apple Testing TV Designs with Foxconn and Sharp Says WSJ

According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple is testing numerous television set designs with its Asian component suppliers:

Apple Inc. is working with component suppliers in Asia to test several TV-set designs, people familiar with the situation said, suggesting the U.S. company is moving closer to expanding its offerings for the living room.

Officials at some of Apple’s suppliers, who declined to be named, said the Cupertino, Calif.-based company has been working on testing a few designs for a large-screen high-resolution TV.

Two sources note Foxconn is working together with Sharp on the design of the new television and said “It isn’t a formal project yet. It is still in the early stage of testing.” In July, Sharp sold one of its LCD factories to Foxconn, and the latter recently purchased three more overseas factories from Sharp in Mexico, Malaysia and China, a deal worth $667 million.

The WSJ report goes on to mention Apple has been testing a variety of TV prototypes for years and frequently works with suppliers to test new designs. Again, the story reports Apple has been in talks with cable TV operators about producing a set top box that would stream live TV.

As far back as last December, the WSJ again had reported Apple SVP Eddy Cue was in talks with cable executives to discuss plans about Apple’s television technology. Back in August, the WSJ similarly reported Apple had plans for a set top cable box in the works and also was discussing plans with cable companies.

In February, the Globe and Mail reported Apple had reported approached Rogers and Bell regarding its plans for television.

In a recent interview with NBC’s Brian Williams, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that TV is “an area of intense interest” for Apple:

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

If Apple is going to release a television or set top box, I hope they take as much time as they can to get it right.