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Apple flat-screen TV to ship by holiday season?

Includes 'special' motion detection, 'unique' remote control

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It's time for another rumor about Apple's long-buzzed-about flat-screen television – and here comes one, right on schedule: it'll ship in time for 2012's holiday shopping season.

"A holiday launch would make for a very merry holiday season for Apple and consumers," wrote Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White in an investment-research note, as reported by Forbes.

White was citing info he got from an article on the Chinese-language website 21cbh.com, which said that Sharp will supply Apple-gadget assembler Foxconn with LCD TV panels sooner than had been expected – soon enough to get Apple big-screen TVs into stores in time for the annual consumer-shopping feeding frenzy.

As The Reg mentioned on Wednesday, the chairman of Foxconn's parent company Hon Hai, Terry Gou, has confirmed that his company and Sharp reached a joint-venture deal this Monday, and that Sharp would build a new flat-panel TV line near Hon Hai's New Taipei headquarters.

Apparently that construction will zip along quite speedily, if White's sources are correct. A quick glance at the calendar shows that Q3 will arrive in less than two weeks.

Or, more likely, Sharp will produce flat-panel displays for the first run of the Apple television at another of its factories, and the New Taipei plant is being designed to ramp up shipments should the Apple-branded, Foxconn-assembled, Sharp-equipped big-screen take off.

"We believe the pieces are in place for a launch soon," White writes, "driving an entirely new $100 billion market opportunity or higher (given a higher [average selling price] at Apple), while further strengthening the company's digital grid and providing customers with a new TV experience."

White had a couple of other nuggets of info in his rumor bag: that the Cupertinian time-sucker would have "a special type of motion detection technology" and "a unique remote control with a touch panel form factor that looks similar to the iPad."

He also notes that the TV's "bezel is expected to be a plastic composition," and not aluminum as are the bezels of iMacs and MacBooks.

Or, for that matter – this being an unconfirmed rumor and all – it could simply be made entirely of hot air. ®

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