Apple TV Living Room Full

Apple really was working on a 4K television set, but it scrapped plans to make it more than a year ago, according to a new report. It's thought the company could find a way to differentiate the product from rival TVs, and so it decided it just wasn't necessary.

"After nearly a decade of research, Apple quietly shelved plans to make such a set more than a year ago, according to people familiar with the matter," reports The Wall Street Journal. "Apple had searched for breakthrough features to justify building an Apple-branded television set, those people said."

One of those features are said to have included a built-in camera for FaceTime calls, but it seems not even Apple felt that was enough to guarantee success in a highly competitive market, which is already led by Samsung.

Instead, Apple is expected to introduce a much-improved Apple TV set-top box at its Worldwide Developer Conference next month, which will boast more powerful hardware and new software. The device is finally expected to get its own App Store, too, as well as Siri integration for voice controls, and a new remote that accepts touch input.

WSJ's report comes after investor Carl Icahn said he expects Apple to launch a new TV set in 2016, followed by an electric car in 2020.

"We view television's role in the living room as a strategically compelling bolt-on to the Apple ecosystem," Icahn wrote in an open letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook on Monday. He also said that he believes Apple shares are worth $240, 84% more than their price on Monday.