Apple’s iPanel is far more than a TV

An industry analyst believes Apple’s long-awaited television will launch in the fourth quarter of 2012.

According to Peter Misek of Jefferies, the new device could be called the iPanel, and would be “far more” than just a standard TV.

As such, says Misek, iPanel is a more appropriate description compared to iTV, as the latter term implies a set with limited capabilities.

“It is a display, gaming center, media hub, computer, home automator, etc,” Misek explained in an industry note obtained by AppleInsider.

“[Plus], Apple would likely have difficulty getting naming rights from the UK TV network ITV.”

Misek predicted the Apple television would ship at a $1,250 price point. Unsurprisingly, the analyst also expects Cupertino to sell an additional iPad or iPhone per every television set  based on Apple’s famous “halo effect.”

So what is Misek basing his projections on? 

Well, the analyst believes an anticipated $800 million agreement between Foxconn and Sharp will play a “key role” in manufacturing the rumored iPanel. 

Misek also claims recent checks in China have indicated that specialty components for an Apple television – such as polarized films, filters, and IGZO display parts – have begun to ship to various suppliers. 

Finally, Misek said his analysis of building permits and satellite images suggests Apple is doubling the size of its massive North Carolina data center – which could be used to stream iPanel content.

Commercial production of Apple’s iPanel, says Misek, could kick off by May or June of 2012, with an estimate 2-5 million television sets being built in time for a November or December launch.