According to a report from USA Today, a source that worked at Apple said a 42-inch “or larger” LCD TV is being worked on and locked down in Apple design guru Jonathan Ive’s workspace. The source claimed Ive’s studio is currently home to “a slick 50-inch TV”.

Apple is said to be looking at a 42-inch or larger LCD TV with built-in Wi-Fi. Inside the locked-down studio of Jonathan Ive, senior vice president of industrial design at Apple, there’s a slick 50-inch TV, according to the source who worked at Apple.

This goes against most recent reports from Asian supply chain watcher DigiTimes who claimed 32- and 37-inch variants were being prepared for a summer 2012 launch. Reports from the New York Times in October claimed Apple was in the process of prototyping an Apple television after large parts suitable for an HDTV were discovered moving around Apple’s supply chains.

Apple is continuing having problems securing licensing deals for content with major cable companies and content providers preventing them from creating an “à la carte iTunes TV service”. The report cited an interview with an unidentified person close to the “Apple TV group” and two “television industry sources”. In November, CBS’s Les Moonves commented at the company’s earnings call that they had turned down a streaming deal with Apple for the Apple TV.

A major roadblock for Apple along the way has been securing content needed to make an iTV succeed. The problems Apple is having securing content deals were described in an interview with a person who worked in the Apple TV group and verified by two television industry sources. All declined to be identified because of the confidential nature of the talks.

According to the report, anticipation of an Apple smart TV is getting “big buzz” leading up to the International Consumer Electronics Show slated to kick off Jan. 10. Apple Cofounder Steve Wozniak weighed in and said he too expects Apple to enter the living room with an Apple branded HDTV:

“I do expect Apple to make an attempt… since I expect the living room to remain a center for family entertainment, and that touches on all areas of consumer products that Apple is already making.”

The rest of the industry is definitely taking notes on what Apple is rumored to include in their first HDTV. Director of new product development at LG Tim Alessi said the company is paying close attention to what Apple has done with user interfaces:

“Apple’s done some amazing things with (user interface) and ease of use, so we’ll certainly keep an eye on what comes out of there”

Microsoft’s general manager of content acquisition and strategy also commented on Apple’s introduction into the TV business: “We do not discount what they are going to do in the space — they are going to come on strong.”

Latest reports from the Wall Street Journal claimed Apple was in talks with media companies regarding a Siri powered HDTV with iCloud, Airplay, and DVR functionality.

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