Last week, a report from The Wall Street Journal claimed Apple’s much rumored HDTV set is now in the “early stages of testing” with partners Hon Hai Precision and Sharp. Today, we get more details surrounding the rumored product from the Taiwan national news agency’s English language Focus Taiwan. According to the report, citing sources close to Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., the supplier is testing Apple television designs, but the possibility of the product shipping in 2013 is “unlikely”:
Nevertheless, the source said it is unlikely that shipments of the appliances will begin as soon as the end of next year.
While the report from WSJ claimed Sharp was involved in the initial testing of the product with Hon Hai, Focus Taiwan’s source claimed the possibility of Sharp displaying panels for the product is “not high”:
Asked whether the new Apple TV will use display panels produced by Japan’s Sharp Corp., the source said the possibility is not high.
The source also claimed that Apple is looking at displays ranging from 46 inches to 55 inches, meaning the company likely wouldn’t rely on Sharp’s plants best suited for production of 60+ inch panels:
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According to the source, Apple’s new TVs will need flat panels ranging between 46 inches and 55 inches, which means that Hon Hai will not need to get its supply exclusively from Sharp. Hon Hai Chairman Terry Gou’s investment company holds a stake in a liquid-crystal-display factory owned by Sharp, Sakai International Operation, which focuses on producing 60-inch LCD panels.
However, it looks like Apple does not yet have panel suppliers in place, as the anonymous Hon Hai source said, “We have not yet confirmed the LCD panel supply source with our client.”
Hon Hai isn’t officially going on the record and declined to comment on future product plans.