Apple to Enter TV Market

Analysts are increasingly upbeat about Apple’s prospects for the TV market. But iTV may not be the name for this next-gen television. Are you ready for iPanel?

Jefferies analyst Peter Misek has raised his estimates for Apple and said that shares could hit the $800 mark. That price target comes just a few days after Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said Apple could be worth $1 trillion in market capitalization, or $1,000 a share.

Misek expects Apple to ship 2 million TVs in the December quarter and pull along iPad and iPhone sales. The catch is that the iTV may be an iPanel. Misek said in a research note:

We now believe the iTV could be called “iPanel” as it is far more than a TV; it is a display, gaming center, media hub, computer, home automator, etc. Also, Apple would likely have difficulty getting naming rights from the UK TV network ITV.

It is unclear whether Misek’s iPanel idea will stick, but his argument that Apple will make a TV seems to add up. First, supplier Hon Hai invested $800 million in Sharp in a move that gives Apple some TV scale and technology, as Cnet stated.

Misek added that Apple is doubling the size of its North Carolina data center, presumably to support a TV.