Report: Apple TV set could launch in 2012

A prominent industry analyst believes Cupertino’s recently unveiled iCloud heralds the advent of a high-def Apple television set.

According to Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray, a shiny Apple TV could launch by late 2012.

“Apple’s iCloud service for media storage makes it easier to own multiple devices and share content among them,” Jaffray opined in an investors note obtained by AppleInsider. 

“At first the only media iCloud will store is music and pictures, but we believe Apple may add movies and TV shows purchased or rented in iTunes to the iCloud service, which could be viewed on a TV.”

The analyst also noted that if Apple debuted a television set, the company could open its existing iOS-powered $99 set-top box to third-party devs.

In any event, Jaffray believes an official App Store for Apple TV will go live sometime during the next year.

“The final step would be bringing the Apple TV software and the App Store to an Apple Television. 

Apple’s expertise in software and apps would be a strong differentiator for the company in the television market.”

Jaffray estimates that a full-on Apple television could add $2.5 billion, or 2 percent, to Apple’s revenue in 2012, increasing to $4 billion, or 3 percent in 2013 and $6 billion by 2014.