Apple’s HDTV tipped for Q4 2012 launch

Apple iTV Release Date Rumor

Apple’s highly anticipated high-definition television may launch ahead of the holidays this year, according to a new report. Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White on Thursday relayed a report from Chinese-language 21cbh.com claiming that Apple manufacturing partner Hon Hai is scheduled to begin receiving LCD panels for the Apple HDTV in the third quarter this year. Earlier reports suggested that the rumored Apple television will not launch until some time in 2013 or even 2014, but this new report may add weight to rumors that the new Apple TV will be released in the fourth quarter this year.

“This morning, the Chinese character version of 21cbh.com indicated in an article that Hon Hai Precision expects to start receiving LCD TV panel orders from Sharp in 3Q12 instead of 4Q12 as was originally planned,” White wrote in a note to clients on Thursday. “Recall, Hon Hai invested in Sharp earlier this year to secure LCD panels that we believe will largely support a new Apple TV.”

He continued, “Based on a recent interview by 21cbh.com with a Sharp executive and information from sources at the company, the online news source believes the order is for the new Apple TV and could be available for the holiday season. In our view, a holiday launch would make for a very merry holiday season for Apple and consumers. However, we will continue to monitor the data points surrounding the timing of this launch as they could change.”

Apple’s HDTV is expected to run iOS and feature an SDK that allows manufacturers and app developers to create accessories and apps for the device. It will also reportedly feature Siri voice controls and a unique content distribution model that offers channels in app-like bundles.

White notes that Apple can generate $10 billion in revenue by capturing just 2% of the LCD TV market.

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