Apple's Supply Chain Testing out TV Designs

The Apple Crystal Ball

Component makers in Apple's supply chain have been spilling the beans again, this time claiming that they are working with Apple to test out different designs for a high definition television set. Citing unnamed sources, The Wall Street Journal reported that Hon Hai Precision Industry has been collaborating with display maker Sharp on testing Apple TV designs.

We've had rumors like this before. In June, for instance, Hon Hai Precision was going to take delivery of TV displays for anApple TV that would be delivered in time for Christmas. Some quick back-of-the-napkin math will find that this didn't come true.

That report came from Topeka Capital analyst Brian White, one of many Wall Street analysts with connections inside Apple's supply chain. Canaccord Genuity analyst Michael Walkley wrote a similar research note in April. Also in April was a report from Peter Misek of Jeffries & Co. who said Apple would release a device called iPanel in this, the fourth quarter.

Let's see...Nothing into nothin'. Carry the nothin'...Yep, still no Apple TV.

Newspapers also have sources, of course. In August, The Wall Street Journal also reported details about an Apple TV, saying that it will have a built-in DVR, on demand TV shows, and more. DigiTimes has had a few reports, as well.

Of course, Apple CEO Tim Cook said just last week that the TV industry was an area of "intense interest" for his company, fueling equally intense speculation all over again.

Wednesday's report from The Wall Street Journal didn't offer many details on the device that Hon Hai Precision is testing. It did quote one of its sources, however, an executive at an unnamed company who said, "It isn't a formal project yet. It is still in the early stage of testing."

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