Rumor: Apple's New TV set Could be Named "iPanel", Coming Late 2012?

A new report claims Apple's anticipated television set could be called "iPanel", and is expected to launch later this year "that is complete with a display, gaming center, media hub, computer, home automator, etc.,"

Analyst Peter Misek said the name "iPanel" would be better for the product than "iTV," as the term TV gives a limited impression of what the rumored device will be able to do. "Also, Apple would likely have difficulty getting naming rights from the UK TV network ITV."

Rumors of an Apple product named "iTV" have lingered for years, and the name was previously tied to the company's set-top box, which remains known as the Apple TV. But the name ITV is also short for Independent Television, a British network that has been on the air since 1955."

Misek believes the Apple television will have an average selling price at $1,250.

"Why is Misek more confident in an Apple TV launch this year and ready to start including it in his estimates? Three reasons:

1) Last week Hon Hai announced a $800M investment in Sharp, and Hon Hai Chairman Terry Gou is spending $800M to buy half of Sharp’s large-panel TV plant in Sakai. Hon Hai is a major shareholder of Taiwan panel maker Chimei Innolux, which has excess capacity. We believe the Hon Hai/Sharp deal is due to Sharp’s increasing importance to Apple and iTV.

2) Our recent checks in Asia indicate that specialty components have begun to ship to Apple’s Asia panel suppliers with polarized films, filters, and IGZO components starting to move in small quantities.

3) Our checks indicate that Apple is doubling the size of its already massive North Carolina data center."

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