Analyst says Apple HDTV launch likely in 2013

Reports of Apple preparing an iOS-powered TV set are circulating yet again. This time around, the rumors were stoked by Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster in an investors note. According to Munster, 2013 will bring significant changes to Apple’s product mix, with a full-fledged Apple TV set  (priced between $1500-$2000) expected to hit the streets in time for the 2013 holiday season.

He believes the Apple TV will boast screen sizes between 42 and 55-inches. The analyst also expects the set to offer both Siri and FaceTime capability, and, as noted above, unbundled TV channels.

“We expect the beauty of the design to be a feature, but the most important feature will be the ability to use the TV as the main interface for the living room across multiple devices,” Munster wrote. “We believe the TV will include Siri and FaceTime. The biggest item unlikely to come with the TV will be unbundled channels.”

Munster also notes that another major product announcement is likely to be made around March of 2013 when Apple rolls out a new streaming radio service to compete with Pandora – possibly an iPad mini with a retina display.

Finally, the analyst weighed in on a possible upcoming  iPhone launch, which he estimates could happen around November 2013 as a relatively “modest upgrade” from the current iPhone 5. The new handset is likely to offer a faster processor, more RAM and an updated camera.

“We [also] expect new iOS 7 core features to include additional wallet features for Passbook, commerce integration for Siri (Groupon/LivingSocial as an example), and Maps improvements… We expect MacBook Airs will get a Retina display option,” he added.