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Apple HDTV To Be Called “iPanel”, Slated for Production This May [RUMOR]

If you have been keeping tabs at everything that has been taking place over at the Cupertino-based company, then you should be aware of the persisting rumors that the company is planning to launch an Apple HDTV product. Now we come across another report that further fuels this long-standing rumor. More details after the jump.

Apple HDTV
With regards to the rumored Apple HDTV, certainly one of the most outspoken analysts about the subject is Jefferies & Co.’s Peter Misek. In the past, he speculated that the Apple HDTV has already hit production phase last February and it is possible that it will be called iTV. Now after a recent trip to Apple's panel supplier in China, Misek has "increased confidence" that Apple will indeed launch its HDTV product this year. Perhaps the most interest tidbit he said is that the product will be called "iPanel" and that production will commence by May.

During his trip to Asia, Misek claimed that he saw television components including “polarized films, filters, and IGZO parts” being shipped to Apple suppliers. Another reason why Misek is now more certain than ever is because of the announcement that Hon Hai Precision is planning to buy 10 percent stake in Sharp Display. According to Misek:

Hai and its related entities are the largest shareholder (with a ~6% stake) in Chimei Innolux which is the largest LCD display manufacturer in Taiwan. Recent reports note that Chimei Innolux is running at 80% capacity utilization for its large- size panels, which leads us to believe that Hon Hai’s Sharp investment is less about securing capacity and more about its relationship with Apple and the upcoming launch of the iTV. We believe Sharp and Apple have modified the IGZO (indium, gallium, zinc) technology to make much-improved HD displays. The Sharp relationship will enable Apple to diversify away from Samsung and gain additional display capacity with leading-edge technology.

What about the deal with the "iPanel" moniker? While he previously said that the product will likely assume the "iTV" moniker, Misek said that Apple dropped the name because of the complaints from UK-based TV network with the same name. "iPanel" is now more likely because it will be more than just a TV. Plus, it will be consistent with Apple's naming convention of "iP___" for its products.

Are you digging the name "iPanel"? Will you buy an Apple HDTV? [via 9to5Mac]

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