Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is testing out several TV set designs, according to the executives at some of Apple’s suppliers, who declined to be named. This is the latest evidence that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is seeking to release a TV set and is working with manufacturers, like Sharp and Hon Hai, to examine designs for a large screen, high resolution TV.

Apple TV

The Wall street Journal disclosed that the project is in its nascent stage, according to unnamed persons with Taiwan based Hon Hai (also known as Foxconn).  “It isn’t a formal project yet. It is still in the early stage of testing,” said one of the people.

The iPhone maker has a reputation of testing numerous new products on a regular basis, but the U.S. firm has been executing these tests of various TV designs “for a number of years,” indicating that the plan is a long term and will deliver the results soon.

However, the WSJ also points out “Apple could opt not to proceed with the device,” since the real issue is around striking content deals. Besides finalizing the design of a possible Apple iTV, the company will have to execute content deals with broadcasters for providing more than just Web content. It was believed that the company is in talks with some cable companies previously in March, but the dominating attitude from Apple-“we decide the price, we decide what content”- did not let Apple strike any deal.

A source told the New York Post “they [Apple] want to create the interface, and they wanted to work with the cable guys to manage bandwidth across the TV and broadband pipeline”. Despite failure to ink any deal with the content provider, a streaming service was mooted for launch this Christmas. The New York Post in the past month reported that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was supposedly working in association with Canadian Content provider firm, Rogers, over its refreshed TV sets.

Rumors of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) launching TV sets are not new. A year ago from now, sources claimed that the company was “preparing materials” to start the manufacturing of new television sets in the first Quarter of 2012.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has not given any public statement over this product, which is believed to be the upgraded version of its existing Web T.V. sets.  In an interview with NBC News last week, CEO Tim Cook called the space “an area of interest.”

“I can’t say more than that,” Cook told interviewer Brian Williams on NBC’s Rock Center stream.