Apple Reportedly Launching 3 HDTV Models Next Year

Would you buy an Apple TV set? That’s the billion dollar question I’m sure Steve Jobs and company are asking themselves right now, as speculation continues to suggest that Apple is bringing an HDTV to market in the not-so-distant future.

While the Cupertino company has identified their interests in the TV industry as “a hobby,” there have been several reports over the last 12 months that indicate they are about to take it to the next level. So what could Apple do to make their TV set better than the competition?

How about producing a product that is extremely thin, houses 16 speakers, and uses DSP (Digital Signal Processing) technology that isn’t even available yet for starters? At least that’s what one Global Equities Research analysts is saying.

Although Apple-branded TV set rumors aren’t anything new, the information that Trip Chowdhry included in a note to investors last weekend offers new details about the mysterious product. The data is based on a “converged view” of details culled from developer events he’s attended.

The analyst claims that Apple’s slick new television will be available in 3 different screen sizes, and “probably” launch in March of next year. He points to Bose’s VideoWave as a good example of what to expect (pictured below).

So imagine a thin LED-backlit TV with a built-in 16 speaker sound system, one of the clearest HD screens available, and an easy-to-develop-for software platform. Now imagine this product uses 1 electrical plug, and is as easy to operate as an iPad.

Not only would it appeal to the growing number of Apple fanatics who religiously line up for their latests inventions, it would also attract new consumers who previously stayed away from the home theatre craze due to fear of technology — just like the iPad did.

What does Apple have to gain from all of this? If Apple is able to release the product cheaper than the competition, while maintaining high profit margins (as it has in the past), analysts believe that an Apple TV set could add as much as $100 billion dollars to the company’s market cap.

The bottom line is, the company has enough money right now that anything’s possible. Launching a TV set would certainly streamline more users directly to their iTunes store, not to mention all of the possibilities it would open up for iDevice interaction.

What do you think?