Although the tech world is getting more and more frustrated with its inability garner a shred of insight regarding Apple’s purported connected TV ventures, analyst Peter Misek of Jefferies – a global securities and investment banking group – has increased his price target for AAPL to $800, on the basis that a TV set from Apple is to materialize in the fourth quarter of this year.
Misek has "enough confidence" that the product – which he describes as "far more than a TV," will launch in Q4 2012 – just in time for the holiday season. He also reckons the name "iPanel" would be better suited than the rumored "iTV," since "TV," by name, automatically gives limiting connotations.
"Apple would likely have difficulty getting naming rights from the UK TV network ITV," he said. Strangely enough, I was considering this a few days back, since here in the UK, ITV is one of the main broadcasters with several channels. Even if Apple named a device iTV in the US, it would not be able to retail across the river, so the name would be largely useless.
Tech tipsters, insiders and bloggers have been sniffing around like bloodhounds for over a year, trying to source any shred of decent information on Apple’s supposed TV venture, and have so far come up with next to nothing. If Apple were preparing such a unit for release this calendar year, one suspects something a little more concrete would have emerged by now.
Ever since it was revealed by Walter Isaacson that Jobs felt he had "cracked" the TV market with something conceptually sound, rumors have been rife regarding how it will look, what it will be called, and most importantly, which game-changing features will Apple attempt to bring to the Korean-dominated market.
Some have said Siri (or a similar implementation) will be an integral part of Apple’s connected TV. If this turns out to be the case, then the likelihood of a 2012 release seems even less likely. Siri is still in its beta stage, and with two class-action lawsuits burdening Apple regarding Siri’s advertised performance versus the reality, the fruit company would not want to rush such an important first product into a new market unless it was absolutely perfect.
Then again, it’s important to keep an open mind, since, as Misek points out, Foxconn and Sharp have just cemented a deal to the tune of 800 million bucks, which he believes could play a key role in proceedings. He also reckons components for an Apple television have begun trickling out of China in small quantities for testing, and that Apple could be doubling the size of its North Carolina data center.
Again, to me, this points to a 2013 release as opposed to anytime this year, but we’ll of course keep you updated if we gather any further information.