A new report is today suggesting that Apple is closely collaborating with partners at Foxconn and Sharp with a view to preparing and testing some new designs for an Apple branded television. The report from the WSJ refers to the remarkably intuitive ‘people familiar with the matter’, who have said that the device is said to be a ‘large-screen high-resolution TV’ and that it is still in very early stages of testing. Notably, the source refers to the new device in a rather dismissive way, referring to it as not ‘a formal project yet’.
The report does however note that Apple does work with their suppliers to prototype and test new devices on a regular basis and many of these devices don’t make it to market. That said, Apple also has a large manufacturing and prototyping facility in-house, so for them to go outside their own walls can perhaps be read as a significant move.
The biggest mystery with the Apple television still remains how the company will seek to differentiate it from other televisions on the market. Some have suggested that the design of the new television will play a big part, but it’s unlikely that the public would drop copious amounts of cash for design alone. Others have suggested integration of the existing Apple TV software, but again, with the innocuous Apple TV box available for $99, this doesn’t seem to be a good reason.
Whatever the outcome, it will be interesting to see how Apple interprets the future of television.