WSJ: Apple is testing designs for a TV set

There has always been strong speculation surrounding Apple’s TV solution. Rumors around this product have been going on for years though nothing has materialized yet except the modest Apple TV box.

However, The Wall Street Journal is now reporting that Apple is indeed testing some product designs with its Asian suppliers. The company, working with Foxconn and Sharp, seems to be testing a large high definition TV set. The WSJ carefully notes that this is only a test and the product may never come to market. Asian suppliers and manufacturers themselves have stated that this “is not a formal project yet”.

If Apple does proceed and the product launches to market then Foxconn is probably the company that will build the sets, not only because of their long standing partnership with Apple but also because they have recently invested huge sums of money by buying a stake in Sharp, just so they can be ready if and when Apple goes to market with such a product.

It is interesting how this report hits at a time when Apple’s stock has been losing ground due to investors fearing Apple’s lack of innovation in the last few years. This, alongside Tim Cook’s recent media appearances, are most likely attempts to try an show that Apple still has a lot to bring to the industry.

It will be extremely interesting to watch this space in the coming months, to see if Apple will go through with bringing a TV to market. However the TV may be a complete flop in itself as many consumers have just made the jump to big HD screens and might not be willing to invest in switching so soon. What may turn the game in Apple’s favor is their ability to bring content providers to the table and sign deals with them to bring their shows to Apple’s product. Although recent reports say that Apple has yet to reach any kind of deal with these content providers, so right now it would seem like the company doesn’t really have a revolutionary product.

Source: The Wall Street Journal | Image via Digital Trends

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I don't see why MS doesn't just release the Xbox UI without the games to the OEMs so that they can build it directly into their tvs!

if apple puts out a TV they will probably bull something BS like the all new 4K tv... makes your 1080p tv look like crap blah blah but not one piece of content is available above 1080p including all broadcast and OTA channels

I don't see this succeeding. Competition in the TV market is fierce and even cheap models by a whole zoo of manufacturers are pretty good in the picture department. Sure, it'll be a bit better and with AppleTV functionality, but with Apple's pricing, this will be a fringe product for people who might buy a Loewe or B&O TV otherwise (or own their monitors). Those sets are smart too, and if you absolutely must have AppleTV, why not buy the box for 100 euros with your 5000 euro TV set. At least you'll have a choice which usually isn't the case with Cupertino's superamazingmagical stuff made of fairy dust.

But hey, competition is good.

This is an interesting time for Apple. I mean what is the next product. I am not the guy that believes that the same device in different sizes equals innovation. They did create something easy to use that give the consumer what they really want, which is all their consumption media in devices that have long battery life and are mostly easy to use.

But what is next? I see such a long list for Microsoft, but I'm not seeing Apples future product line evolve much. I was expecting the TV this fall, and I was honestly expecting a touch screen MBA and MBP.

Business as usual doesn't cut it these days. I'll be very interested to see the next real product launch.

I just don't see it. AppleTV is priced well but an Apple TV would be through the roof. Their monitors are just insane. So they gotta cut the cost. Also with HTPCs, XBox, PS3 and such already in the living room they're going to have to be extremely creative/unique. Will be interesting to see what they come up with.

Their displays aren't that insane, when you look at the same panel from other companies, combined with the extra features that generally aren't as common on most displays like the extra ports, camera, speakers, etc.

Are they a little high.. yes.. but then again Apple always has top marks in customer service and support year after year, and their products are generally well built and long lasting..

In my experience with their stuff, it all works out in the end.

First of all, to all the price speculators, pipe down, we do not know how much this thing is going to cost when and if it goes on sale. Second of all, TVs are a product that people do not refresh every year so apple will need to take that into consideration when pricing this thing out. Not all apple products are uber expensive. take the Apple tv, I can drop $100 and well cut the cord from my cable company.

Based on the overwhelming majority of previous/current Apple products, we can easily conclude that any Apple-based TV *is* going to overpriced, er higher priced than it should be. Why would Apple disappoint their shareholders with something reasonably priced? Remember, Apple is the master of squeezing every last dollar of profit out of the sheeple.

What market is there for one? My HTPC already has what I need for a TV set, and I'm not subscribed to anything outside of cable. What should I replace my TV set that still works with Apple's junk? Voice control is not enough for me to plop down $10k for a TV.

Personally, I feel that the bridge between a computer and television needs to be made. Over the last decade or two, we've slowly moved from the comfort of our sofas to the less comfortable computer chair, sat at a desk. For instance, an easy and comfortable way to browse the web while sat on my sofa would be a good start. Though that's arguably answered by the tablet. But there is something appetising about doing the things I'd usually do sat at a desk, in front of the TV on the sofa instead.

All that said, you may be right. Perhaps there isn't a market for it, which would explain why this news story isn't about a product launch. Though it being junk, voice controlled or $10,000 is purely speculation.

the bridge has been made a loooooooooooong time ago. apple tv, google tv, htpcs, smart tv functionality??

i'm typing to you now on my 55" with a htpc running win8. yes, on my sofa.

I haven't tried most of the products you've mentioned, but I feel as though the technology could and should go further in this area. I still have to sit at a desk with a keyboard and mouse to use Photoshop for instance. I'd personally like to see the day when we don't need a keyboard for data input.

i don't know if you can ever do real work without a desktop setup. it is possible, even now, just not very comfortable. i personally would not want to do photo editing or major word processing and real work without being at a desk. also without using a keyboard or mouse for input for doing real work is not practical. imagine flinging your hands around for an hour trying to manipulate an image. arms would fall off.

I agree with your argument but not your outlook There is currently no practical interface to do complex tasks without a desk, keyboard or mouse. This is why I would love to see improvement. It's all a matter of finding a more or equally convenient data input medium while relaxing on the sofa with your TV across the room. Perhaps there is no ideal solution, but with recent advances in voice recognition, and gesture based computer interaction, we're closer to finding out.

I really don't get why Apple would want to release a TV. TVs aren't the kind of products you can sell to someone every 1-3 years like a tablet or laptop.

Don't be so sure. I am sure their TV would have some type of subscription to features you have to pay for to watch additional content. Like an Apple TV subscriber based program that insures revenue. Apple isnt stupid.

They will do find thansk the the iSheep. Apple has an iTv...gotta have it becaus eitt has the logo....lmao

if they do release a TV it will probably a good product but will likely be to expensive to compete with Samsung, Sony and LG who rule the TV world. To compete Apple will not only need to make an innovative device with great features and functionality they will also need to be aggressive on their price. knowing apple this TV will be expensive.

It will probably awesome. But it will be expensive. Anyone who even tries to deny that don't know Apple, or is a full blown Apple fanboy.

I'm feeling in an argumentative mood, so I'll give it a go.

Firstly I'd like to address the use of the term 'Apple fanboy'. You've belittled the person you're debating with and their argument before you've been introduced to either. This is presumptuous and bad form. Additionally, use of the term doesn't hold any water in a discussion about the product in question, so for the sake of debate, and to save us from a pointless slander match, let's avoid such terms.

History does show that Apple products tend to cost considerably more than it's competitors, and there's no reason to suspect the TV, if ever released, would be any different. But for Apple to revolutionise the market (which is fair to assume they'll claim to do), they'll have to throw in features that TVs don't currently have or do well. A web browser, voice navigation (i.e. Siri), and all features of the current Apple TV device would be a few examples of a perfectly good reason to replace my TV for something more modern at the cost of a little more than your average TV.

If ever released, the TV will likely be expensive, but no more than it needs to be to make a dent in the market and to earn Apple a profit.

Nashy said,
It will probably awesome. But it will be expensive. Anyone who even tries to deny that don't know Apple, or is a full blown Apple fanboy.

Don't quite even understand the point of this post. Yes, we know Apple products are expensive. But generally they're very well put together and most people who buy them are happy customers.

If you don't buy Apple products, have no interest in buying Apple products, and are unable to at least accept in some capacity why Apple charge as much as they do, then why even bother passing comment? Does being vehemently against Apple make you an "Apple Troll" rather than an Apple Fanboy?

What you've both done is reworded my exact point and made it longer than it needs to be.

I'm not against Apple in anyway at all. Take my comment as an assumption that Apple fanboys will enter and talk about how their prices are not inflated blah blah blah.

i'm not attempting to make an argument against Apple, nor am I trying to make one for them. I think Apple make amazing products, which I general like very, very much. I have used them in the past, and I will use them in the future.

I apologise if my post was misinterpreted to be something that it is not.

The product will exist, the product will be awesome, and the product will be more expensive than others already on the market.

Yes, agreed with the fact that the product will likely cost a lot of money, but I understood your comment to imply that it will not just be expensive, but 'too expensive', which I claim that it will not - it'll be just the right amount of expensive! But agreed, expensive none the less.

But my response was mostly to argue against the term 'fanboy' and your dismissal of a counter opinion to yours that hadn't presented itself at the time. It looked unnecessarily slanderous, and mostly, I just wanted to point that out.

He just means that only the truest of Apple fans will buy this because it will be overpriced. It WILL be overpriced. It's Apple remember?

Shoop said,
I'm feeling in an argumentative mood, so I'll give it a go.

Firstly I'd like to address the use of the term 'Apple fanboy'. You've belittled the person you're debating with and their argument before you've been introduced to either. This is presumptuous and bad form. Additionally, use of the term doesn't hold any water in a discussion about the product in question, so for the sake of debate, and to save us from a pointless slander match, let's avoid such terms.

History does show that Apple products tend to cost considerably more than it's competitors, and there's no reason to suspect the TV, if ever released, would be any different. But for Apple to revolutionise the market (which is fair to assume they'll claim to do), they'll have to throw in features that TVs don't currently have or do well. A web browser, voice navigation (i.e. Siri), and all features of the current Apple TV device would be a few examples of a perfectly good reason to replace my TV for something more modern at the cost of a little more than your average TV.

If ever released, the TV will likely be expensive, but no more than it needs to be to make a dent in the market and to earn Apple a profit.

You would think, with those features you listed, that it would be revolutionary but they're not. search for smart tv wikipedia. 'Web 2.0,' functionality has been a mainstay of smart tvs for the past 2-3 years. 2012 offerings have given us voice, gesture and facial recognition along with a front facing camera.

4k tvs were already being shown off at CES 2012 as well as OLED tvs, with samsung and lg already offering one for sale. this upcoming CES 2013 will proably be dominated by more OLED and 4k tv's.

i don't see how apple can innovate in this area to be honest. the biggest thing lacking in the industry is apple like customer service. which i want to see.

Edited by linsook, Dec 12 2012, 2:03pm :

I understand where you're coming from, but I'm toying with the idea that if the customer base is happy to buy the product at that cost, and the company is earning a profit, then the price isn't over or under, but correctly priced.

For instance, I consider the latest iPad to be expensive, but they're earning a considerable amount from sales, and so despite my personal view on worth of purchase or financial situation, they've priced well.

linsook said,

You would think, with those features you listed are revolutionary but they're not. Google smart tv wikipedia. 'Web 2.0,' functionality has been a mainstay of smart tvs formthe past 2-3 years. 2012 offerings have given us voice, gesture and facial recognition and front facing camera

Sorry I missed your comment when replying to the other. I'll make use of the quote functionality from now on. I don't claim such features to be revolutionary, but I claim they'll be enough for Apple to suggest they are. That said, having a large company like Apple throw in a contender, and the resulting sales (whether as a result of innovation or Apple hype) may cause an influx in competitor innovation, as happened with the mobile phone market.

Well there are Tv's that do this well. Samsung's Smart Tv's all have web browsing and great applications available like Netflix and Pandora and they look absolutely awesome.

yeah, I can just see it now.

2012 Apple iPlasma v1 $10,000, Kogan plasma v1 $500.
2013 Apple iPlasma v2 $11,000,
2014 Apple iPlasma v3 $12,000,
2015 Apple iPlasma v4 $13,000,
2016 Apple iPlasma v5 $14,000,
2017 Apple iPlasma v6 $15,000,
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Original Kogan plasma still going great