The Apple TV is already a thing, but people are still holding out for an actual television from the hardware giant. Rumors of an Apple HDTV have been around for years, but 2012 saw a decided jump in reports and rumors. Now at the end of the year, it's looking more and more like Apple really is making some televisions.
A report out of Focus Taiwan says that Foxconn is now testing several hardware designs for an Apple TV. The rumor states that Apple's current TVs are being tested with displays ranging from 46 inches to 55 inches. The LCD panels for the televisions would come from either Japanese or Taiwanese companies.
That being said, the rumors point to Sharp being the LCD panel supplier for Apple's first real dive into the television market. The reasoning is that Foxconn's chairman Terry Gou holds a stake in Sharp. Even then, the report states that it's not yet known who exactly is providing the LCD panels.
So, when can we expect to see an Apple TV unveiled or even mentioned? The report points to CES as a likely option, but Apple has traditionally avoided the trade show. The company usually opts to host its own events, but an Apple TV would most likely destroy the competition if it were to be shown at the largest consumer electronics trade show in the world.
As for when the devices will actually be made available, the report says it's "unlikely" for shipments to "begin as soon as the end of the year." If true, we probably won't see an Apple TV until 2014.
It should be noted that all of this is just a rumor at this point. None of it has been confirmed and Apple has been famously tight lipped over the potential existence of an Apple TV. It's looking like we won't know for sure until next year, and even then, I wouldn't expect it to be announced at CES. Apple always holds an event early in the year, however, and an Apple TV could be on the menu.[h/t: AppleInsider]