Apple analyst says the 50-inch “iTV” is coming soon

Senior research analyst Gene Munster says an Apple-made TV could be coming as soon as the end of 2012 or the beginning of 2013.

In a quote to Business Insider, the Piper Jaffray web expert said, “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 September 2011, we met with a contact close to an Asian component supplier who indicated that prototypes of an Apple television are in the works.”

Munster said his thoughts on the device come from a series of meetings with “contacts close to Asian component suppliers” as well as other industry contacts. Munster has previously postulated the upcoming product for other, distinct reasons, including Apple’s TV-related patents and significant investments in TV components.

The iTV (so-called as to not confuse it with the underwhelming Apple TV set-top box) was something Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was working on prior to his death.

“I’d like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use. It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud,” Jobs told his biographer, Walter Isaacson.

“It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.”

We’ve also heard reports that Apple is soon launching a cloud-based content service for video. According a slew of Hollywood sources, movie studios and Apple reps are close to sealing deals that will let consumers buy movies on iTunes and access them on any Apple device, perhaps including the coming iTV.

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