First it was the iPhone. Next it was the iPad. And now it’s an Apple HDTV that seems to be the latest focus of the Apple rumor mill.
Rumors of an Apple HDTV have been picking up steam for some time now and even received a little kickstart after Steve Jobs told Walter Isaacson in his recently released biography that he finally “cracked” the HDTV problem in the form of a TV with integrated iTunes and iCloud functionality.
Now comes word via analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray claiming that Apple has already begun manufacturing prototypes of said device.
Based on Jan-11 meetings in Asia (not with component suppliers), we believe Apple is investing in manufacturing facilities and securing supply for LCD displays. These displays could range from 3.5″ mobile displays to 50″ television displays.
– More recently, in Sept-11 we met with a contact close to an Asian component supplier who indicated that prototypes of an Apple television are in the works.
Munster also highlights a number of patents and patent applications Apple has filed, including one relating to software for browsing and recording Television shows and another concerning a TV with a built-in DVR.
Anticipating Apple’s potential stake in the HDTV market, Munster claims that Apple, with sales of 1.4 million units, could add $2.5 billion to their bottom line in 2012.