Apple TV to be “the biggest thing in consumer electronics since the smartphone”

Even though we have a pretty good feeling that Apple is going to unveil its third ATV set top box next week, gossip is still bouncing around about Apple’s full-scale television. We’ve been hearing rumors of an Apple TV set for several months now.

A lot of the chatter can be traced back to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. The firm’s resident Apple expert has been the device’s biggest proponent up to this point, and now he’s back with some new information…

Even with a new Apple set top box coming this month, Munster still believes that we could see Apple’s television set surface sometime later this year. In fact, he expects it to be available for purchase by this fall.

As far as the hardware goes, the analyst says that the so-called “iTV” will look unlike anything consumers have ever seen before. “Imagine just a sheet of glass — no edges or bezels.” He also claims that users will be able to surf through TV channels in a number of ways, including voice commands and a conventional remote control.

As for features, Munster is still convinced that his previous predictions were spot on. According to him, the set will employ iCloud support, the aforementioned Siri voice control, and a host of other goodies. “It’s going to live up to some of the hype,” Gene said during an interview with Bloomberg Radio yesterday. “It will be the biggest thing in consumer electronics since the smartphone.”

If even half of what Munster says is true, we’d sure hate to be in the TV business this year.