The iTV is real, or so we hear

All the rumors about a “smart” TV powered by Apple and envisioned by Steve Jobs, are apparently due to become reality by the end of 2012.

The UK-based Guardian reports that Sharp has been courted by Apple to produce the company’s branded TV sets.

In the best-selling Steve Jobs biography, the late Apple CEO was quoted as saying, “I’d like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use. It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud. It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.”

This has sparked a myriad of speculation about an Apple-branded TV set and what the magic formula that Jobs “cracked” actually was.

There’s a lot of scuttlebutt that the iTV will be powered by Siri, the voice-activated platform that has captured the imaginations of iPhone 4S owners.

“Other TV manufacturers have begun a scrambling search to identify what iTV will be and do,” American bank Jefferies analyst Peter Misek was quoted as saying.

The idea of “smart TV” has not caught on like wildfire in the same vein of smartphones. Google’s platform, Google TV, has failed to draw a lot of attention though the company did just release a sweeping firmware update and expects to unveil big things at CES in January.

Meanwhile, Apple’s attempts in living room dominance before, from its bungled video game system to the first iteration of the Apple TV set-top box, have been commercial failures as well.

But Jobs seemed to be convinced that he knew what would work, and it is that vision that we’ll see in 2012, if the reports are to be believed.

Keep your eyes peeled for next year – it may be something other than an iPhone or an iPad that causes your mind to explode this time.