Consumers still want an Apple TV set, but only if the price is right

Rumors regarding Apple’s TV set have really tapered off over the past few months. That likely has a lot to do with the ramp up in speculation surrounding the list of products Apple is expected to introduce at its fall media event — which the TV set isn’t on.

But just because the Apple television chatter has subsided, doesn’t mean that folks have forgotten about it. In fact, a new survey shows that some 50% of consumers are still very interested in an Apple-marketed TV set, as long as the price is right…

CNET points to some survey results found embedded in an investors note by Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster. The results, which found that 49% of consumers would be interested in an Apple TV, suggest that Apple could break the typical 7-year TV product cycle.

“We believe this suggests that customers would be willing to interrupt an estimated seven-year TV product cycle to purchase an Apple Television,” Munster said in the investor report. “This is of course not surprising given the following of Apple products and widespread adoption of the iPhone and iPad.”

But the survey also revealed a major roadblock for the rumored TV set: price. Of those surveyed, only 12% said they would be willing to pay the estimated $1,500 for the television.

“The hurdle Apple is going to face with winning consumers to Apple Television is price,” Muster said. “Over the past seven years, consumers have been conditioned to pay progressively less for TVs, with the average 32-inch TV price down 76 percent since 2005.”

It’s true. A quick search on a handful of electronic retailer websites shows that 40-inch TVs start as low as $299 these days. Of course, they also go up into the $2000 range, but the average set price still seems to be well below $1000.

That being said, it’ll be interesting to see what kind of price tag Apple’s rumored TV set comes with when (or if) it hits. Apple’s supply chain presence has helped it keep the prices down on high-end products like the iPad, but TVs are a whole different ball game. TV-makers generally see far lower profit margins than say, handset-makers.

Apple is expected to unveil full-blown TV sets as soon as next year, with screen sizes between 40 and 50 inches, and deep integration with iCloud and other iOS features.

Are you still holding out for an Apple TV set? What would you pay for one?