Report: Apple HDTV may launch earlier than expected

A new report is making the rounds concerning Apple’s long-awaited HDTV.

The latest? A well-known Chinese website known as 21cbh, where site reps claim Sharp LCDpanels have already been ordered for Cupertino’s HDTV.

Sharp execs also apparently confirmed that Foxconn will be receiving the above-mentioned panels to build Apple’s HDTV – signficantly earlier than originally anticipated.

As you may recall, previous reports indicated that Foxconn would receive the screens in Q4, although sources now claim the screens will ship by Q3.

Meaning, Apple could theoretically have its new HDTV on the market in time for the holiday shopping season of 2012.

This would obviously be a big deal, as manufacturers typically do all they can to get new products on the market in time for the holiday shopping rush.

“In our view, a holiday launch would make for a very merry holiday season for Apple and consumers,” Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets wrote in an industry note obtained by AppleInsider. “However, we will continue to monitor the data points surrounding the timing of this launch as they could change.”

White said he believes the pieces are in place for Apple to roll out a full-fledged HDTV in the near future. With just a 2 percent unit share in the LCD TV market, White believes Apple could generate sales of $10 billion per year, with $1.50 to $2.00 in earnings per share.

White also recently stated that the Apple television will have a “special type of motion detection technology” that will act as the primary method of controlling the device, and could include a “unique” plastic-backed remote control with a touch panel, appearing similar to the iPad, for control of the device.

It should be noted that Sharp is currently providing Apple with displays for other products, such as the retina displays used in the new iPad. Of course, there has been no official confirmation that an Apple HDTV is in the works from any of the companies involved, and the chances of receiving an official confirmation ahead of the product launch is virtually nonexistent.