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Wednesday, January 04, 2012, 08:29 am PT (11:29 am ET)

Designer Jony Ive reportedly has a 50-inch Apple television in his studio

A "slick" 50-inch Apple television is said to be housed in the secure California studio of Jonathan Ive, Apple's acclaimed head of product design.

Citing an anonymous source who worked at Apple, USA Today revealed that the 50-inch television secretly resides in the "locked-down studio" of Ive. The person also reportedly said that Apple is looking to build an LCD television sized 42 inches or larger with built-in Wi-Fi functionality.

Aside from those details, the report offers little else that is new about Apple's anticipated television set. Author Scott Martin notes that Apple's rumored TV set is going to receive "big buzz" at next week's Consumer Electronics Show, even though the Cupertino, Calif., company isn't attending the event.

The story also features a quote from Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who said he expects Apple will make "an attempt" to build a TV. He believes the living room will "remain a center for family entertainment, and that touches on all areas of consumer products that Apple is already making."

The new details, if true, suggest Apple is not interested in building an HDTV with a screen size of less than 42 inches. That contradicts a story from a month ago, which claimed Apple was looking to build televisions with three screen sizes, starting on the low end at 32 inches, and maxing out at 55 inches.

Other reports have indicated that Apple plans to use custom chips, like it does with the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, to power its new integrated television. The USA Today report reiterated those apparent intentions, and also suggested that the inclusion of AirPlay and iCloud integration could make such a product enticing to consumers.

The main hold-up, onlookers believe, is content licensing deals. Gartner analyst Mark McGuire believes that Apple will have to pay a high price to obtain the kind of access it seeks.

HDTV


Rumors have suggested Apple wants to be able to offer customers customized channel lineups with its anticipated television set. Such a plan could offer customers the ability to choose whichever channels or shows they want for a monthly subscription fee.

But content providers are said to have resisted Apple's offers for subscription-based plans. Networks similarly turned a cold shoulder to Apple's plans for 99 cent TV show rentals, which were discontinued on iTunes last August.

Rumors of an Apple-built HDTV began to pick up steam late last year, when it was revealed that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs told his biographer that he had "cracked' the secret to building an integrated, easy-to-use television set. He said the device "will have the simplest user interface you could imagine."