Analyst says Apple TV product is ‘imminent’

Apple TV talk has really died down over the past few months, but the rumors of the device have been pretty persistent over the past few years. Analysts and tech pundits continue to believe that we’ll see something in the not-so-distant future.

The latest testimony comes from Jefferies & Co. analyst James Kisner. In a note to investors this morning, Kisner said that after speaking with his industry contacts, he believes the launch of an Apple television product is “imminent…”

Barron’s (via MacRumors) reports:

“Our discussions with industry contacts suggest that at least one major N. American MSO is working to estimate how much additional capacity may be needed for a new Apple device on their broadband data network. We believe this potentially suggests an imminent launch of the Apple TV, a positive development for ARRIS, who is directly exposed to data traffic growth from incremental IP video streams on cable networks.”

MSO is an acronym for multiple systems operator. So essentially, Kisner is saying that he’s hearing that major cable companies are researching what they’d have to do to their broadband networks to prepare for an Apple TV product.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard talk of cable companies looking at an Apple TV device. Back in August, The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple was in talks with multiple cable providers about a new DVR-like set-top box.

Over the past few months, Apple TV rumors have shifted from a full-blown TV set  to this so-called “set-top box.” Many believe that due to the small profit margins on TVs, and their longer life cycles, that Apple is more likely to do the latter.

But regardless of what it is, Apple may not want to hold off its unveiling too much longer. Microsoft already has a big head start in the space with its gaming console-turned-media hub Xbox 360, and Google just doubled down on Google TV.