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apple_tvApple is gearing up to produce an HDTV in 2012 or that’s what is reckoned by an analyst.

According to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, the rumoured release of the relaunched Apple iTV would be one step to producing a “connected HDTV” as early as 2012.

The new Apple TV, which may be called iTV if UK TV company ITV manages to sort out its legal issues with Apple over the brand name, is likely to feature many of the components already found in the iPhone and iPad but with a limited amount of flash memory and no battery.

But the set-top box and possible integrated HDTV will have access to the App Store and run Apple’s smartphone iOS. The new device will potentially connect to a new data centre in North Carolina which could see the giant stream iTunes tracks and video straight to a user’s television.

Experts believe such an integrated device could see the replacement of blu-ray players, games consoles and set-top boxes replace with a single device.

The analyst reckons that an internet-based iTunes pass could sell for up to $90 per month with an Apple HDTV retailing for $1999.