With CES just around the corner, the market will soon be filled with the latest in HDTV technology from the likes of Samsung, LG and a host of others.
But per usual, the one company keeping its hand close to its vest is Apple. Indeed, rumors of Apple making the leap into the TV business have been making the rounds for the past few years, but over the past few months, the number of rumors from varying sources have been on a noticeable increase.
Earlier today, USA Today profiled Apple’s HDTV efforts, noting that the company has had trouble securing content deals for its rumored Television set. Indeed, one of the ways Apple might try and differentiate itself from the market is via licensing deals that would enable users to subscribe to only the content they want, potentially bypassing cable providers in the process.
They say Apple has been unable to cut deals that would let it offer first-tier TV network programs for an à la carte iTunes TV service. That’s seen as a key element to launching a revolutionary iTV.
Since there also is no evidence Apple has ordered production of panels for TVs, an iTV is at least a year away, according to analyst Paul Gagnon at DisplaySearch, a firm that tracks the television supply chain.
Notably, the report mentions that Apple is currently exploring models in the 42 and 50 inch range deep within the confines of Jony Ive’s top secret research lab on Apple’s campus.
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.
Some previous reports have alluded to Apple releasing HDTVs in a slew of form factors, from 32 to 55 inches. More recently, Digitimes claimed that Apple was working on sets with 32-inch and 37-inch form factors.
Now nothing is ever official with Apple unless you hear it from Apple themselves, but we doubt Apple would enter the increasingly competitive HDTV market and not have a high-end model in the 46 to 55-inch range, especially given how cheap you can find 46-inch sets these days.