Apple TV: 'One More Thing'
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- If you're looking for a new television set for next year, Apple's (AAPL) intentions might keep your plans on hold, as the company's reportedly testing designs for the oft-rumored Apple television.
Apple is speaking to its Asian suppliers about its plans for the Apple TV , according to Sina Weibo , a Chinese microblog. The Wall Street Journal also reported that Apple is working on several designs of the next-gen television set.
Apple's manufacturing partner, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd. is said to have been working with Sharp on the project, but nothing official has yet been announced.
This isn't the first time we've heard Apple is working on designs of its television set. Earlier this year, it was reported that Apple's Jony Ive was working on an Apple-branded television set in his design studio.
There has been intense speculation around Apple making a television set, and that's ramped up since CEO Tim Cook spoke publicly about Apple's living room strategy. In an interview with NBC's Brian Williams, Cook described the company's interest in television sets. "When I go into my living room and turn on the TV, I feel like I have gone backwards in time by 20 to 30 years," Cook told Williams at the end of the interview. "It's an area of intense interest. I can't say more than that."
Wall Street analysts believe that Apple is lacking some innovation, and that could be a huge reason why the share price has declined from a high of $705.07 in September, to a more recent $541.39, as of the close of trading on Tuesday.
Barclays Capital analyst Ben Reitzes touched on this subject in a recent investor note, saying that another product line may be what Apple needs to get the needle moving higher again. "Given the current sentiment on Apple, we thought it may make sense to dust off our views on the potential for the company to enter the TV market - following several reports from us on this topic," Reitzes wrote in his note. He rates Apple "overweight" with an $800 price target.
As speculation surrounds Apple's plans for its television, one thing to note is there appears to be no defining consensus of what the device will actually offer.
What Exactly Will Be in the Apple TV? Apple already has an Apple TV set top box that it sells. Google (GOOG) competes in this area, though with muted success. Reitzes believes Apple is working on a new service centered around iOS, iCloud, and iTunes to enhance its television, making it far different to offerings from Sony (SNE) , Panasonic (PC) , Samsung and others. "We believe that the Apple version of TV may evolve into a product that is "always on" with the ability to display a variety of messages, and other key information as well as even act as a video conferencing device," Reitzes wrote.