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February 13, 2013

Analyst Predicts Apple TV to launch in March

Apple will host an event next month to publicize a new program that allows developers to create apps for Apple TV, according to Jefferies & Co. analyst Peter Misek.

The app program will pave the way for Apple’s first TV, which Misek expects to be debuted this fall. The television, will fall between 42 and 55 inches will be priced starting at $1,500, Misek said.

Shares of German TV maker Loewe rose 43 percent today (Feb. 13) due to revived rumors of a possible buyout from Apple. Rumors of a buyout bid from Apple began last May.

Apple CEO Tim Cook himself dropped hints about an iTV in a December 2012 interview with NBC.

“When I go into my living room and turn on the TV, I feel like I have gone backwards in time by 20 to 30 years,” Cook told NBC. “It’s an area of intense interest. I can’t say more than that.”

Not everyone agrees with Misek’s iTV prediction, however.

The Loop’s Jim Dalrymple, an unofficial authority on Apple, has a good track record  when commenting on Apple’s plans for media events and product introductions.

Dalrymple countered Misek’s prediction with one word: “Nope.”

Misek is also predicting Apple will debut a lower-priced iPhone and iPhone 5S in June or July, and the iPad 5 and the next iPad Mini in September or October.

Although Apple had originally planned to release its 4.8-inch iPhone in 2014, the company recently failed in its attempt to fast-track the launch to the latter half of 2013 in a bid to make up lost market share to rival Samsung, Misek reported.

“We believe a summer CY14 launch was originally planned, but Apple tried to accelerate it to stem its market share losses,” he said. “The earliest Apple could have launched a 4.8-inch phone would have been this fall (with a target of October); however, our checks indicate that Apple’s suppliers are running into difficulties trying to scale the screen size from four-inch to 4.8-inch.”

Misek said scaling up the screen size meant a considerable number of display components were not meeting Apple’s quality assurance tests.

That difficulty, he said, means the iPhone 6 will not be debuted until next spring.