Apple iTV Coming Late This Year: Munster

03Feb12

It’s almost time to line up at the Apple store, again. New evidence suggests that Apple iTV is coming soon.

So says Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Muster after his proprietary research found that Apple [AAPL 455.12 -1.07 (-0.23%) ] has been reaching out to TV component suppliers.

And from his conversations, Muster believes he’s landed on the company’s time horizon. “It’s likely coming late this year,” he says.

You may wonder, why such intense interest? After all, Apple investors are no stranger to new gadget launches. Well, this one may be different – even for Apple.

Fast trader Jon Najarian believes it will be the piece de resistance – the gadget that integrates all others.

“It’s a new area that I think investors are going to be excited about,” adds Munster. “This could be something that really moves the needle for Apple.”

That enthusisam stems in part from the recent Steve Jobs biography in which author Walter Issacson quotes Steve Jobs as saying, “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 … will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.”

For months the Street has been buzzing with reports about what to expect. According to one published report, unlike the current Apple TV which is a console unit, iTV is expected to be an actual flat screen TV available in two sizes; 32 inch and 37 inch screens.

Of course that begs the question whether a gadget of this magnitude will dissuade Apple from paying a dividend; will the new product strike some conservatism among the board of directors, making them reluctant to part with the cash?

Munster doesn’t think so. “Even with the investment in iTV, we’re past the breaking point for a dividend,” he says. And when will that long awaited divided come? “I expect something this year,” he tells us.

Source: Published: CNBC, Thursday, 2 Feb 2012 | 6:18 PM ET Text Size By: Lee Brodie

Learn more about Ron Sloy.

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