Apple reportedly working with Asian suppliers to test new TV

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US technology giant Apple has been working with component suppliers in Asia to test new TV sets in a possible move to branch into the television market, a report said Wednesday.

Apple has been testing several TV prototypes for large-screen high-definition TV for a few years, sources familiar with the situation were quoted by the Dow Jones Newswires as saying.

Among the suppliers, Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision has been working with Japan's Sharp Corp. on the design of the new TV, the report said, citing unnamed company officials.

Hon Hai, better known as Foxconn, is the world's largest maker of computer components and produces goods for tech giants including Apple, Sony and Nokia.

Apple's move into the television market would intensify competition with some of its biggest suppliers, including South Korea's Samsung Electronics, the world's biggest TV maker by shipments.

Hon Hai also started selling 60-inch TV sets in Taiwan from last month in an apparent bid to beef up production of a panel plant in western Japan used to be owned by Sharp that it has invested in, company officials have said.

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook has described the TV business as "an area of intense interest" in a recent interview with US media, according to the report.

A Sharp spokeswoman declined to comment on any products the company is working on while Hon Hai officials were not immediately available for comment.

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