Is This the Next Step in Apple’s TV Plans?

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is working with component suppliers in Asia on testing designs for a large-screen, high-resolution television set, the company’s supply sources told The Wall Street Journal. Testing has been continuing for a few years on several prototypes, the report added.

What is the New Apple TV Buzz?

According to the report, Apple’s most recent efforts have focused on a collaborative effort with Sharp. Word that Apple has TV prototypes ready has been circulating for a while. However, Sharp recently entered into a partnership with Apple’s main manufacturing partner, Hon Hai Precision Industry, so its work with the iPhone maker possibly suggests the TV product’s proximity to the production stage. Hon Hai, or Foxconn, has made an investment in Sharp’s Sakai LCD plant and Apple is also said to have invested in the Japanese electronics maker.

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While the report noted that Apple usually tests products internally before beginning work with outside suppliers, the sources warned that the current stage was early as well…

“It isn’t a formal project yet,” the source said. “It is still in the early stage of testing.”

CHEAT SHEET Analysis: High-Quality Product Pipeline for Future Good News

One of the core components of our CHEAT SHEET investing framework focuses on the potential of upcoming products from the company to affect earnings and margins. Speculation that Apple was preparing to enter the television business has been circulating for years and received some more credibility after chief executive Tim Cook said in a recent interview that the company was interested in the sector. Investors have hoped that a TV would be the next big catalyst for Apple’s product line.

Piper Jaffrey analyst Gene Munster has predicted features such as unified control of TV-connected devices, voice-enabled control, an app store, games, and the FaceTime video conferencing feature. In addition, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty wrote in a report following a consumer survey that the device represented a $13 billion opportunity that could add $4.50 to Apple’s earnings per share.

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