The latest Apple TV rumors have everyone and no one excited at the same time. It's not that people don't want Apple to build the television of the future — they do. It's that these rumors have gotten a little old, without offering much actual hope that anything exciting will actually happen anytime soon. The Wall Street Journal's Lorraine Luk and Jessica E. Lessin now have sources saying Apple is testing set designs with Samsung (of all people!) — but that this "isn't a formal project yet." To that, the tech world says: duh — over and over and over again. CEO Tim Cook has talked about TV as an "area of intense interest" multiple times. So of course it has these preliminary tests going. Not only have we heard this one before, but it doesn't indicate that Apple will indeed put out a new TV product anytime soon, nor if that product will change the way we watch TV.
In the end, it's unlikely that whatever Apple puts out — next year, the year after, whenever — will actually fulfill anyone's TV dreams of a box that delivers television without cable. That rumor has made its way around as well, offering (likely false) hope that the company might create some sort cord-cutting product as an alternative to cable. But the cable companies have made it clear that, unlike the music industry, it doesn't plan on creating that type of relationship with Apple — or anyone else, for that matter. At this point, cable companies have little incentive to debundle their offerings. (What they have got going is working fine for them.) While this latest WSJ rumor mentions those potential exciting talks, the report doesn't add anything that would suggest talks have actually developed. So, never count out Apple from pulling off the impossible, of course — it has reinvented a lot of industries when we least expected it — but don't count on that much more than revamped version of an Apple TV box that already exists, either.