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For the last year or so, many have been wondering when Apple would open up its set-top box, known as the Apple TV, to developers for third-party apps. At the same time, excitement about a major upgrade to the iPhone has already started. An analyst from Jeffries has answers from both of these questions based on “channel checks”.

According to Peter Misek from Jeffries, Apple has plans to finally allow developers to create third-party apps for the Apple TV, a device that has so far been completely off limits for applications other than Apple’s own. The analyst claims that Apple is planning an event for next month to officially unveil developer tools for the Apple TV, along with a possible standalone television device sized between 42 and 55 inches. The analyst is predicting a launch in September or October, targeting the splurge of spending usually seen by consumers during the holiday season:

“Channel checks indicate Apple has a product event in March that is Apple-TV related (possibly an iTV SDK introduction). We think a Sep/Oct iTV launch is being targeted.”

Misek is also speculating about the future of the iPhone, after the release of the iPhone 5 which many prospective buyers were expecting more of. According to Misek, Apple intends place a bigger 4.8-inch screen on the next iPhone, contrasting with the 4-inch screen on the current-generation device. According to the Jeffries analyst, due to the structure of the iPhone screen, which embeds the touch-screen components into the glass, suppliers have been struggling to produce a cost-effective display matching Apple’s specifications on time, therefore holding the product up until next year. Misek still claims that a low-cost iPhone is still on track for a June announcement, along with the iPhone 5S.

Apple TV

The job of analysts is to provide investors, as well as the general public, with accurate predictions of future moves by companies, especially traditionally secretive ones such as Apple. However, these often don’t have enough inside information to confirm any of their analysis, simply basing themselves off rumors that may often not reflect what Apple is actually working on.

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The most certain announcement at this point, in our opinion, is an SDK for the Apple TV, allowing developers to finally create apps for Apple’s set-top box. Anything else will just make the year much more exciting.

Update x1: Jim Dalrymple of TheLoop has debunked the Apple TV SDK event rumor.

(via MacRumors, BusinessInsider)

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