iPad mini and iTV in full production, analyst claims

Hot on the heels of a pair of reports by usually credible The Wall Street Journal asserting Apple’s been working on a set-top box with cloud DVR and premium cable TV content, an analyst wrote in a note to clients today that a rumored iPad mini and an Apple-branded television set are both in full production now.

Based on supply checks, the note calls for 25 million iPad mini units for the September quarter and an additional 30 million units for the December quarter, which would peg iPad mini shipments for the calendar 2012 at a cool 55 million units….

As relayed by Fortune, Jefferies & Co. analyst Peter Misek also wrote in a note to clients that Apple’s rumored full-blown HD TV set dubbed iTV is in full production now possibly showing up in stores in time for Christmas.

The iTV will sell two million units in the December quarter for an estimated average selling price of $1,250, he contends. Apple could also release the iTV in early-2013 because countering Amazon, Google, Samsung and other vendors with the iPad mini could be its first order of the business.

Misek is also shooting for at least eight million iPad minis in the quarter.

Here’s an excerpt from Misek’s note:

Recent data out of Sharp, Hon Hai and other specialty chemical and TV component suppliers support this. We believe Apple will leverage AT&T‘s and Verizon’s content deals for the iTV.

As pointed out on Twitter (via 9to5Mac), Apple is looking to partner with carriers AT&T and Verizon Wireless to sell the $1499 iTV with a two-year AT&T UVerse or Verizon FiOS contract, with Apple getting “something like $2000 per TV”.

In addition to that premium Apple television deal, Apple could be looking to sell set-top-boxes for Comcast customers.

Earlier in the week, The Wall Street Journal caused quite a commotion with claim that the Apple TV could be used as a set-top box for cable TV operators, marking a major shift in Apple’s living room strategy with its $99 hockey puck device.

The New York Post asserted back in March that Apple failed to negotiate premium deals because content owners were wary of financial terms and how any deal with Apple might antagonize their existing relationships.

Last month, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook was spotted at the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference, reportedly lining up media moguls for a series of one-on-ones on premium content partnerships.

As for the next iPhone, Misek estimates Apple will have about 15 million iPhone 5 units built by mid-September, when Apple is expected to deliver what he described as “the biggest handset launch in history”.

Now, remember that Jefferies & Co. believes in the iTV so much that it in an April note to clients that Apple would start to manufacture in June/July what it referred to as the iPanel, an HD TV set that will be “so much more than a TV. It’s a display, gaming center, media hub, computer, home automator, etc.”, Misek wrote back then.

Is Misek smoking something or could Foxconn really be assembling iTVs as we speak, without a single parts leak of credible supply chain rumor preceding it?