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Apple is in the early stages of building a HDTV, says WSJ

Although many big names in the tech world have rubbished the idea of Apple building a HDTV recently, none other than the Wall Street Journal reports that the Cupertino company is in fact in early talks with partners to develop such a product.

According to the publication, Apple is working with part suppliers in Asia to try and put together a product, although it’s a long way off hitting the shelves. The information comes from Executives at some of Apple’s current suppliers, who have said that the company is testing out designs for a large high-definition television.

Testing a product internally would mean that Apple is still in the early stages with the product, as it typically moves on to testing with partners and external companies after that before possibly going back to the drawing board with its findings.

Sources familiar with Apple’s plans say that the company has been working with Hon Hai, who puts together iPhones and iPads for Apple already, and Sharp, who provide the screens for the same devices, on a HDTV. Sharp is an obvious connection; a long-established TV manufacturer with a great background in large screen sizes, whereas Hon Hai is likely to be put in place to assemble the product, should it go into mass manufacturing.

Hon Hai, also known as Foxconn, began manufacturing 60-inch television sets for US company Vizio earlier in the year, and so could become a clear choice for Apple and its own TV set.

An Apple TV set would likely offer wireless or wired internet connectivity in order to give users access to apps, music and video content via Apple’s own stores. We would also expect the ability to stream from an iOS device to the TV over a wireless network, and possibly the option to use an iPhone or iPad as the TV’s remote.

However, Apple being in talks with suppliers does not confirm that an Apple TV is coming. It does hint that the company is moving further with its idea, although if it can’t get everything right then the Apple TV may be confined to Apple’s prototype cupboard along with the Macintosh PowerBook Duo Tablet (seriously, google it).