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Apple to offer own-brand HDTV, claims analyst

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Sony, LG, Panasonic, Toshiba and Samsung are all firms you associate with TV sets. But from 2011 you’ll be adding a new name to the list: Apple, according to an outspoken analyst.

Gene Munster, Senior Analyst at US-based investment bank Piper Jaffray, has predicted that Apple will launch a branded telly with integrated DVR and support for film, music and game downloads.

The Apple-branded set - not to be confused with the existing Apple TV set-top box - would wirelessly sync with iPods, iPhones and Macs, and “command a premium among a competitive field”, Munster said in a recent note to clients.

“Apple could differentiate itself with software that makes home entertainment simple and solves a pain point for consumers," he suggested.

In the run-up to the launch of its branded TV in 2011, Apple will unveil a range of TV-focused gadgets, Munster predicted. For example, he believes that a set-top box with TV input and integrated DVR could be launched within months.

An iTunes TV Pass offering unlimited pay monthly access to the library’s content archives could also launch within 12 months, Munster said, effectively replacing a consumer’s monthly cable bill. ®

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