According to a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report, citing unidentified sources "familiar with the matter," Apple is testing "a few designs" for a large format HDTV; thereby leading the analysts to the speculation that the first Apple TV set may likely become available towards the end of the year.
As per the WSJ report, based on the information shared by sources in Asia, Apple is apparently testing large format HDTV designs with its component suppliers - Sharp and Hon Hai Precision Industry (better known as Foxconn).
The WSJ report about Apple set to launch a TV set comes at a time when widespread rumors about Apple TV have been making rounds of late, especially after Apple CEO Tim Cook's statement - made during a recent interview with NBC - that his company's interest in TV is no longer just a "hobby"; and is now "an area of intense interest."
Despite the fact that Apple TV rumors have been coming up from time to time over the last few years, the WSJ report is noteworthy because Apple is probably testing the TV at Sharp's western Japan plant in Sakai, which is one of the world's most advanced LCD facilities, and can produce TV sets that are more than 60 inches in size.
Meanwhile, revealing that the testing of the Apple TV project is still in its early stages, some unnamed Hon Hai employees said: "It isn't a formal project yet. It is still in the early stage of testing."