The rumors were true: Apple had 4K TV in the works, but canceled it over a year ago

Illustration photo.

Illustration photo.  (REUTERS/Dado Ruvic)

Sure, Apple has a product called the Apple TV, but for years rumors have been rampant that an actual television would be coming out of Cupertino. It seems that while Apple was indeed working on a television, it dropped the idea over a year ago, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.

Apple was reportedly looking into a number of different technologies for use in televisions. For a time the company was considering laser-powered transparent displays, but decided that the cost was too high. Later in the process Apple was looking at using 4K panels, and even considered including a version of its FaceTime video chat that could direct cameras to focus on whoever was speaking at the moment.

In the end, the company decided that even FaceTime wouldn't do enough to differentiate its TVs from those of its competitors. Apple didn't pull the plug on the project outright, however. Instead, the team dissolved as members were sent to work on other projects throughout the company.

Related: Why the pundits predicting an Apple television are just plain wrong

At least one person still expects to see an Apple move forward with this idea. Investor Carl Icahn said in an open letter to Tim Cook that he believes Apple will debut a television next year, with an electric car to follow in 2020.

While Apple's plans for a TV as a product are murky, its plans for television as a platform are much more clear. Since the start of 2015 we've been hearing rumors over what the company has in store for its Apple TV box, which is expected to be revealed at this year's WWDC next month.

While the company hasn't acknowledged it yet, it has been widely reported that Apple is also working on a video streaming service similar to Sling TV, to be available on the Apple TV as well as iPhones, iPads, and the iPod Touch.

As we get closer to WWDC, which runs from June 8 to 12, we expect more details and rumors on the new Apple TV and streaming service to drop.