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Rumor: Apple television plans 'on hold,' company concentrating on wearable devices

AppleInsider was first to discover an Apple patent filing describing a watch design with flexible display.

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Apple's plans for a full-fledged television set have been placed "on hold" as the company plans to potentially launch new, wearable electronics, such as a the anticipated "iWatch," according to a new report.

Citing sources in the television industry supply chain, NPD DisplaySearch reported on Monday that its sources say Apple is no longer pushing to launch a television set in the next year. Paul Gagnon, director of North American TV Research for DisplaySearch, said Apple's initial plans were "far from concrete," but that the company originally planned to launch a television lineup in the second half of 2014.

Sources reportedly indicated that one of the "principle reasons" for the alleged delay is Apple's apparent inability to obtain "proprietary content not available on other devices." Such content would give Apple's platform the ability to stand out from competitors and find success in the cutthroat television set business.

The growth of devices like the existing Apple TV set-top box, Roku player and Google's new Chromecast streamer have also negated the need for a full-fledged "smart TV" for many consumers.

"Indeed, the existing Apple TV box may be an impediment to Apple's success with a smart TV product, which as a category, is not growing in the U.S. as many had hoped for," Gagnon wrote. "Our most recent smart TV forecast is that they will only account for about a quarter of TV shipments in 2013, and grow very slowly from there, with the focus on low-end premium models."

Rumors of a full-fledged television set from Apple are not new, though speculation about such a device has died down in recent months. Instead, industry watchers are anticipating that Apple will release a so-called "iWatch" within the next year.

And though rumors of a television set have died down, Apple is rumored to have a hardware refresh for its "beloved hobby" in the works, which last saw new silicon in March 2012. It's been claimed that the next-generation Apple TV set-top box may include new control methods to enhance the experience.