While Apple's iPhone and iPad are largely successful, there's one gadget the tech giant just can't seem to get off the ground: Apple TV.
However, a new report from The Wall Street Journal said that Apple may not be bombing out completely in the television realm as it's currently testing TV designs with component suppliers in Asia.
Two sources from some of Apple's suppliers confirmed that Apple is testing designs for a high-definition, large-screen TV set. They also mentioned that Hon Hai Precision Co. (which trades as Foxconn) is working with Sharp Corp. on the project.
While the TV is still in its earliest stages, this represents progress in Apple's TV venture, since products are usually developed and tested in-house before being sent out to suppliers. But it's important to keep in mind that Apple has tested many TV prototypes and this one may not make it to production, either.
Nevertheless, it's a spring forward for the successful tech company who could one day compete with the likes of Samsung, which is already a fierce competitor in the mobile hardware market. As far as television software, Apple could face competitors like Google with its own smart Google TV. Apple's iOS software for mobile devices already competes with Google's Android operating system.
Apple currently sells Apple TV, which is a $99 digital media receiver that plays content from the iTunes Store, YouTube, Netflix, Hulu Plus, etc. However, Apple wants Apple TV to be so much more. For example, a game console, the ability to receive live content over the Web, live content from television networks, surf the Internet, record shows via a built in hard drive, watch Internet videos and play pictures/songs.
Apple's biggest issue with making that dream a reality, however, is its inability to strike a deal with content providers on cable networks for live television content. Comcast and CBS have rejected any affiliation with Apple TV, saying that it wants too much control over the content.
Apple has been fighting this battle with content providers since 2005, but has been unsuccessful so far.
But that doesn't mean Apple TV is a total lost cause. The tech giant was still able to strike deals with content streaming services like Netflix and Hulu Plus to provide content that can be viewed on a television screen. In Q1 2012, Apple sold 1.4 million Apple TV devices, which isn't too bad, but of course Apple is striving for a better product and better sales.