Apple Might Be Making an HDTV Again

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Remember how underwhelmed (or confused) you were when Apple first announced Apple TV (formerly iTV) way back in, oh, 2006? If this latest batch of Apple rumors holds true, and Apple really is entering the HDTV market, we can expect shiny new (aluminum bodied?) flatscreens in consumer living rooms by the end of 2011.

“If.” Apple Insider is reporting that analyst Brian White of Ticonderoga Securities has gotten his hands on a note to investors from a China electronics trade show that suggests they-of-“i”-prefixes may soon begin production on a new kind of Smart TV. He tells Apple Insider, “Our research suggests this Smart TV would go well beyond the miniature $99 second-generation Apple TV that the company released last fall and provide a full-blown TV product for consumers.”

In the report he goes on to say that Apple has long been predicted by watchers to enter the HDTV market, but (and this might just be this writer’s opinion) doesn’t it feel a bit overdue? Our own Jared Newman suggested that Apple probably won’t be entering the HDTV market for some time, because “Apple sees the television hardware market as too risky. The profit margins are slim, and prices are always falling. Apple products, by contrast, are high-profit, and prices rarely drop.”

Regardless, recent data suggests that high-income consumers who use Apple products are moving away from traditional television, and if this TV drops by the end of 2011 it will more than likely integrate all the iTunes/AirPlay product-streamlining that’s become one of the brand’s hallmarks (I’m guessing you’d be able to use your iPhone/iPad as a remote in some capacity *crossing fingers*).

Currently, the largest screen Apple has is the 27-inch iMac (which, if you’ve seen it IRL, looks fantastic), and a large high-definition TV anchoring your living room will probably be every bit as lovely. But that’s enough speculating for now. The real question is “when?”

More on TIME.com:

Are iPads and Other Tablets Killing TV?

Cablevision Launches iPad App Offering 300 Channels of Live TV

How to Stream Music at Parties

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