Best Buy Gauging Demand for a 42-inch Apple TV Priced at $1,499.

Tuesday, February 7th 2012. | Hardware News

Apple TVLooking forward to the next Apple TV? A customer survey sent out by Best Buy that was spotted this week by The Verge might offer some hints as to what it’s going to look like and cost.

The survey refers to an “all-new 42-inch Apple HDTV” that would theoretically sell at Best Buy for $1,499. Potential buyers are wooed with the notion that Apple will “finally reinvent what a TV can do,” then given a breakdown some specs and features:

– The television sports a 42-inch, 1080p LED flat panel display.

– Like the current Apple TV set top boxes, the new Apple TV uses the iOS operating system that runs the iPhone and iPad, and those two devices can be used as a remote control for the full-blown TV set.

– The Apple TV will connect to iCloud services, iTunes, and Apple’s App Store, meaning you’ll be able to stream movies and other content from the Internet, store and play content you’ve purchased, plus run apps like Angry Birds on a big screen.

– The survey suggests that Apple TVs will also be able to access YouTube, Flickr, Netflix, and other online content services.

– The unit comes with a built in iSight camera and a microphone, so video chats via Skype or other applications will also be possible on the new Apple TV.

That last bit had The Verge somewhat puzzled. Apple hasn’t used the “iSight” brand for its cameras of late and the company might rather position its own FaceTime product for video calling ahead of Microsoft’s Skype, the tech journal argued.

It’s not totally clear whether this is a real customer survey, much less if Apple’s endorsing what’s said in it or if Best Buy is just doing some poking around based on guesswork. The Verge does note that Norwegian research firm Confirmit, the listed administrator of the survey, has counted Best Buy as a customer in the past, however.

In December, it was reported that Apple was revving up its supply chain in order to deliver components for next-generation television products due out in the second or third quarter of 2012.

As the Best Buy survey indicates, the skinny from Taiwan components suppliers as reported byDigiTimes was that the next foray into television for Cupertino would not be a set-top box like previous versions of Apple TV but rather a full-blown TV set, DigiTimes reported, citing unnamed industry sources.

What’s more, South Korean media reported late last year that Samsung began producing chips for next-generation Apple TVs back in November, while Sharp is reportedly supplying the displays for the units.

But the reports from Asia indicated that Apple was planning a 32-inch version and a 37-inch version of the rumored Apple TV set, not the larger model that’s teased in the Best Buy survey.

Adding to the intrigue surrounding Apple’s rumored television plans is the fact that a few months before his death last year, the late Steve Jobs told biographer Walter Isaacson that the company had “cracked” the secret to an Apple TV.

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