Rumor: Apple Shopping for TV Displays from Major Component Suppliers

Even with an iPad 3 launch almost certainly on the horizon, much of the tech world’s interest still seems to be in Apple’s mysterious TV set. According to the rumor mill, the iPhone-makers are expected to enter the television space at some point in the next two years.

And there’s nobody pulling for that to happen more than Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. Munster has been the source of several “iTV” rumors over the past couple of months, and now he’s back with more gossip…

In a note to investors yesterday, the analyst mentioned that he had recently spoken with a major TV component supplier about Apple’s purported plans to release a connected HDTV. Sources within the supplier reportedly told Munster that Apple had contacted them with various questions regarding their components.

Munster believes that we could see an Apple TV set by late 2012, although we’ve recently heard it could surface as early as April. Predicting the device’s release date is fairly tricky because even if Apple finishes the hardware, it still needs to figure out the content side of things. Will it just connect directly to your Dish or Cable provider like your current set does, or will Apple drum up something of its own? We’ve heard numerous reports of Apple talking to TV networks and other content providers over the past few months.

While we’re still chalking most of this up to typical “Apple gossip,” we do believe that Apple is actively working on a full-blown TV set. There’s an old saying that goes, “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” And man is it getting dingy in here.