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The 50-inch Apple TV set rumor re-emerges

Countering previous reports of 30- and 40-inch TV sets from Apple, a new report from USA Today suggests Apple has something in the 50-inch range cooking away in its labs.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
2 min read
Apple's got a 50-inch TV set in its labs, a new report says.
Apple's got a 50-inch TV set in its labs, a new report says.

Apple's much-expected TV set effort could truly be a big-screen affair, with a new report that says the company is gunning for a set beyond 40 inches in size.

In a story tracking the landscape of connected TV sets, ahead of next week's Consumer Electronics Show, USA Today notes that all eyes are on Apple to jump in the race, despite the fact that the company doesn't plan to be at the annual event.

The interesting tidbit comes from an unnamed source who worked at Apple, and told USA Today that "Apple is said to be looking at a 42-inch or larger LCD TV with built-in Wi-Fi," and that recently knighted Apple VP of industrial design Jony Ive has "a slick 50-inch TV" in the company's design studio.

The report suggests that Apple is not as far along with its TV set plans as was noted in a recent report from Taiwanese news site DigiTimes. Last week the outlet claimed Apple was in the process of ordering components to build 32-inch and 37-inch TV sets, which would go on sale in the second half of this year. Without acknowledging that report, USA Today adds a mention from DisplaySearch analyst Paul Gagnon that there's "no evidence" of Apple ordering LCD panels for the set, which "is at least a year away."

Of note, the report also includes a quote from Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who said that he anticipates Apple will jump into the TV set business. "I do expect Apple to make an attempt, since I expect the living room to remain a center for family entertainment, and that touches on all areas of consumer products that Apple is already making," Wozniak said.

This is not the first mention of an Apple TV set in the 50-inch range. Early last month Australian technology site Smarthouse reported that Apple was planning to offer three screen sizes ranging from 32 inches up to 55 inches. That's the same outlet in July that claimed Apple was setting its sights on a 55-inch OLED TV for its first sets.

Size aside, interest in Apple's TV efforts remain in the software and content offerings. Apple is expected to make full use of its existing content deals, while possibly introducing new ones that would give would-be cord cutters a way to ditch their existing cable service to watch TV programming. Eyes are also on the company to find a way to bridge its App Store to the living room, where it's found growing success on portable devices like the iPhone and iPad.