Unlikely scenario: Analyst says Apple HDTV to be called ‘iPanel’; begins production in May

Jefferies & Co.’s Peter Misek has been one of the most outspoken analysts about Apple’s rumored HDTV product. He first said in November that Sharp was preparing its production lines for the “iTV” and then last month claimed production of up to 5 million units could begin by May with a product launch by Q4 2012. In this morning’s note to clients (via Barron’s), Misek once again claimed television components have begun shipping to Apple’s panel suppliers in Asia and upped his price target to $800 based on “increased confidence” that Apple will indeed launch the product this year. He is also now claiming the product will be dubbed “iPanel.”

Misek said on a recent trip to Asia he saw “polarized films, filters and IGZO components” headed to Apple suppliers in small quantities. Another reason for Misek’s increased confidence is the announcement that Hon Hai Precision will buy a 10 percent stake in Sharp Display. He explained:

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Analyst: Apple could use ‘iTV’ moniker for HDTV, partner with carriers for programming

Apple’s rumored HDTV might be called the iTV, according to a new report from Bloomberg citing Jefferies & Co. analyst Peter Misek. In a note to clients this morning, Misek also claimed Apple might buy licenses for programming through possible partnerships with Verizon and AT&T and could “leverage content into a YouTube-like model” by taking advantage of user created video from iPhone and iPad users. He also noted “Lower margins and higher risks” will most likely keep Apple away from creating original programming. Misek did not comment on a possible timeframe for the product’s launch.

Misek’s scenario of Apple partnering with carriers for content follows a report from Reuters today that confirmed Verizon and Coinstar’s Redbox division have partnered with plans to create a video streaming service to rival Netflix and Hulu Plus. Verizon and Redbox plan to offer its first product resulting from the partnership in second half of the year. As for the possibility of Apple calling its HDTV product the “iTV.” Apple will of course have to work out rights to the name from the major United Kingdom TV network of the same name.

Just last week, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster weighed in claiming Apple was talking with a “major TV component supplier” about “various capabilities of their television display components.” He also offered three possible scenarios for how Apple will approach content on its HDTV product suggesting a simple integration of third-party live TV services, to a live TV/web content combination, to an iTunes monthly subscription.

In related news, you might have come across a BestBuy survey recently that aims to gauge interest in an Apple HDTV concept. If you are interested in seeing what BestBuy dreamed up for the survey, a copy sent to us by a reader is available below (Thanks Alan!):

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