A prominent industry analyst believes Cupertino is planning to launch an Apple-branded LCD TV set during the first half of 2013.
According to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, the full-fledged television set will retail between $1,500 and $2,000 - with screen sizes ranging between 42 inches and 55 inches.
"The bottom line is that evidence including our checks this week and over the past two years with component suppliers, Tim Cook's D10 interview, Steve Jobs' biography, and third party reports all point to Apple working on a television," Munster wrote in an industry note obtained by AppleInsider. "We believe 'if' has been decided and now the question is 'when.'"
Munster says he expects the TV to be unveiled in 2012, with sets hitting Apple store shelves some 6 months after the initial announcement. It should be noted that Apple has followed a similar strategy in the past with its iPhone and iPad launches, both of which were announced months in advance to provide developers with a head-start.
Indeed, Munster believes an Apple television will likely boast its own App Store for games, music, video and other content. Users will interact with the TV via a "revolutionary" interface that could be based on Siri, as well as compatibility with iOS mobile device and perhaps even motion capture capabilities.
The Apple TV design should make the set "the stand-out centerpiece of the consumer's living room," he opined. Nevertheless, Munster acknowledged that Apple probably wouldn't revolutionize TV watching, at least not initially.
"This will take time (3-5 years), and while we believe Apple will innovate on its existing TV content offering at the launch of [its] television, we caution that the initial offering may more closely resemble the Apple TV content offering (Netflix, iTunes, and eventually Hulu)," he added.