Apple has begun the first phase of testing on the new Apple television but it is unlikely to ship in 2013, according to reports.

According to a Macworld online poll, 2014 may be leaving it a little late. The UK's living rooms are ripe for smart TV upgrades, with more than half (53.5%) of readers not yet having a Smart TV. (See the end of this story for more information about which smart televisions Macworld readers already own.)

A source at Hon Hai Precision Industry has claimed that testing is already underway there, according to a report from FocusTaiwan.

This collaborates a report from The Wall Street Journal last week that cited unnamed sources from Apple's suppliers, that stated that Hon Hai Precision Industry and Sharp were collaborating on the television set.

Hon Hai is the parent company of Foxconn, who assembles Apple's iPhones and iPads.

The source claims that the new TV will range in size from 46in to 55in and that it is unlikely that they will use display panels from Sharp (despite Hon Hai holding a stake in a factory owned by the company).

Apparently shipment of the new device is unlikely to begin as soon as the end of 2013.

The source also suggests that Apple might display Apple TV-related products at CES in January.

Apple has never attended the Consumer Electronics Show so such a move is incredibly unlikely.

In a recent interview Apple CEO Tim Cook's sparked rumours where he said the television was an area of "intense interest" and alluded to it as being something from The Jetsons. As a result speculation is increasing that Apple is gearing up to enter the television market in 2013.

The big question is what the new Apple Television could offer that consumers can't already get from existing smart televisions. A Forrester study suggests that four out of 10 Americans have connected their TV to the Internet, or in the 18-to-32 age bracket, six in 10. The report credits Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s PlayStation 3 as the reason for the high adoption - 42% of those watching internet TV on their television are hooked up via a game console.

The most popular smart television amongst Macworld readers was the Panasonic Viera (16.7%) despite the fact that Panasonic has said it is pulling out of the TV market. Apple's arch-enemy Samsung's Smart TV was in second place with 11.4% and Sony's Smart TVs had 9.6%.

Follow Karen Haslam on Twitter / Follow MacworldUK on Twitter


Apple television is 'worst kept secret' and everyone wants to copy it

Apple Television: Foxconn and Sharp "in early stages of testing"

Analyst: Apple could sell more than 13 million 'iTV' television sets, consumers willing to pay more

Apple Television iTV release date, rumours, and pictures

Apple Television rumours: 'iTV prototypes sighted' ahead of 2013 launch