) is in the early stages of testing prototypes for large-screen,
high-resolution television sets. According to
The Wall Street Journal
, Apple is working with Asian suppliers to test
TV design concepts. Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. -- which owns
Apple's chief manufacturer, Foxconn -- has reportedly teamed up
with Sharp to help the Mac maker build the new displays.
One of The Wall Street Journal's unnamed sources was quoted as
saying that it "isn't a formal project yet."
"It is still in the early stage of testing," the source
While this might sound like just another rumor, it was not
that long ago that a source told The Wall Street Journal that
Apple was experimenting with prototypes for a smaller iPad. Those
tests were supposedly being conducted in Asia. Less than one year
later, Apple unveiled and released the iPad Mini.
That product is considerably different from a TV, however.
Apple produced the iPad Mini long after the company's famed
trashed the existence
of smaller tablets. The TV concept has reportedly been tossed
around at Apple for several years.
Dozens of reports have attempted to shed light on the display
Apple is producing. Most of them involve a theory arguing that
the company wants to work with content producers to deliver an a
la carte cable service that would provide a greater choice to
consumers. Others have speculated that the iPhone creator will
work directly with cable providers, which will sell Apple's TVs
at a subsidized rate. This would be similar to the format it has
used to sell the iPhone.
While it is unknown exactly how much the TV set would cost, at
least one analyst believes that a 50-inch Retina Display would
more than $25,000
. That prediction is not as absurd as it sounds. Sony's (NYSE:
) first 4K TV -- an 84-inch set that is believed to provide a
lower resolution than a large Retina Display --
retails for $25,000
Few consumers will purchase a TV at that price. Thus, Apple
may opt for a lower resolution or wait until Retina Display
prices drop before releasing its first TV.
(c) 2012 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.