A new report claims that two Canadian telecommunications companies have got their hands on prototype versions of Apple's connected TV set.
The Globe and Mail reckons that Rogers and Bell Canada are in talks with Apple about becoming the Canadian launch partners for the so-called iTV.
According to an anonymous source quoted in the article, Apple is looking for a company with "wireless and broadband capabilities" while another source said that both companies had prototype versions of the product in their labs.
Rogers, Bell Canada and Apple all declined to comment on the article but the claims would seem to substantiate reports from earlier this month that Apple was shopping for components for the device with analyst Gene Munster saying that Cupertino had been talking to a "major TV component supplier".
However, other reports have said that Apple's plans for a connected TV set are not likely to come to fruition any time soon and point out that there is still the issue of content provision for such a device to sort out.
Earlier this week analyst Peter Misek of Jeffries issued a report to investors that outlined some of the approaches Apple could adopt for securing content for the device.
While Apple could either create or seed content, or perhaps buy exclusive access to content, it is more likely to enter into a series of non-exclusive content deals for the service, relying on its superior ecosystem and user interface to persuade consumers to buy such a device, Misek reckons.
"Ultimately we see Apple as being very creative and diligent in how it will acquire the content necessary to drive its ecosystem to the next level. We believe video content is a major focus of Apple based on what we have gleaned from looking at seeded code, patents and doing channel checks," said Misek.
"We also believe user-generated content will also play a role. From video calling on Facetime to using iPhone and iPads as video recorders, the ability to leverage content into a new YouTube-like model exists. We see a combination of two options as being the most likely: selective exclusive deals (especially for sports) combined with many non-exclusive deals, possibly via carrier/MSO partnerships," he continued.
Apple hasn't officially acknowledged the existence of any connected TV project, but speculation has been mounting for some time now. Aside from some patents that have been filed with the US Patent Office and the late Steve Jobs' desite to "crack the TV nut" as noted by his biographer Walter Isaacson, there's little hard information to go on right at the moment.