Screen Gem: An AppleTV That Really IS…A TV?

This image described by AppleTV, Piper Jaffray, AppleTV 
The next generation of AppleTV's may not be a cute little settop box.  It may, instead, be a real…actual…big honkin' flat-screen TV.

That's the theory being floated by Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster.  In a recent note to investors, Munster pointed out a hush-hush, nearly US$4 beeellion investment by the House of Jobs believed to be earmarked for various display technologies.  Long convinced that an Apple move into HDTV production is an inevitability, Munster is convinced that some of that investment money will see the light of day as an all-inclusive 50" television with embedded AppleTV technology — and it could arrive as early as the end of 2012.  Key quote:

"While Apple's commitment to the living room remains a 'hobby,' we continue to believe the company will enter the TV market with a full focus, as an all-in-one Apple television could move the needle when connected TVs proliferate."

As the price-comparison mockup above demonstrates, an Apple flatscreen — even with an iTunes TV pass subscription — could be seriously price-competitive with current, discrete-component home entertainment systems.

[Via Apple Insider]

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