Apple TV edges closer, reports Wall Street Journal

The much-rumoured Apple TV is said to be edging closer, with sources close to the company's suppliers suggesting an Apple TV is at the testing stage.

The Wall Street Journal reports sources at Foxconn, which builds the iPhone and iPad, saying, "It [Apple TV] isn't a formal project yet. It is still in the early stage of testing."

The testing of an Apple 'ITV' is said to be taking place at the Sakai LCD plant in Japan, which is owned by Sharp but has had heavy investment from Hon Hai, otherwise known as Foxconn.

Apple has been linked with an "iTV" for some time now, with the latest reports suggesting an Apple TV would include Siri voice control and AirPlay wireless streaming.

An Apple set-top box was also rumoured, set to incorporate aspects of functionality from the Apple TV streaming box as well as the option to watch live TV.

Great rival Google finally released Google TV set-top boxes in the UK this year, such as the Sony NSZ-GS7, and recently adding music and movies for download.

The WSJ reports that Apple "has been testing various TV prototypes for a number of years, according to people familiar with the efforts".

Apple famously refers to its Apple TV box as a "hobby", which tends to be code for a product line that doesn't make the company much money. Sales of the device remain relatively small, just 1.3m in the last quarter.

Apple CEO Tim Cook however seemingly upgraded the company's interest in TV products, saying TV was now an "intense area of interest" in an interview with NBC.

The possibility of going head-to-head with the likes of Samsung in the TV market and having a more complete living-room product offering will no doubt appeal to Apple, but for now an Apple iTV release date still seems a long way off.

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Joe Cox
Content Director

Joe is Content Director for T3 and What Hi-Fi?, having previously been the Global Editor-in-Chief of What Hi-Fi?. He has worked on What Hi-Fi? across the print magazine and website for more than 15 years, writing news, reviews and features on everything from turntables to TVs, headphones to hi-fi separates. He has covered product launch events across the world, from Apple to Technics, Sony and Samsung; reported from CES, the Bristol Show, and Munich High End for many years; and written for sites such as the BBC, Stuff, and the Guardian. In his spare time, he enjoys expanding his vinyl collection and cycling (not at the same time).