Apple Testing Large-Screen High-Res TV Concept
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) 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 several 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 said.
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 co-founder 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 cost more than $25,000. That prediction is not as absurd as it sounds. Sony's (NYSE: SNE) 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.
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