Following Apple CEO Tim Cook's comments that the television is an area of "intense interest" for the company, the web has lit up with speculation about what the future could hold for Apple's widely anticipated living room take-over.

Now, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty has issued a research note to clients claiming that an Apple branded television, dubbed 'iTV', could represent a $14 billon (at least) opportunity for the company, selling at least 13 million units at about $1,060 each.

Huberty's survey of 1,568 US consumers found that 18 per cent of Americans own a smart TV but only 13 per cent know they do, which she says suggests that there is a market for an internet connected television that's as simple to use as Apple's iOS devices.

Of the respondents, which were all described as 'heads of household', 11 per cent said that they would be "extremely interested" in buying an Apple-branded television. That translates to about 13 million homes in the US that are potential Apple Television customers.

Another 36 per cent of the respondents said that they would be "somewhat interested" in an Apple branded television, which adds another 43 million units to the previous 13 million, says Huberty.

Of those who were "extremely" or "somewhat" interested in an Apple television, 23 per cent said that they were interested in buying an iPhone before it was released, and 21 per cent were interested in an iPad.

Almost half (46 per cent) of the respondents said that they would be willing to spend more than $1,000 (direct conversion is £619, but prices for Apple products in UK tend to be higher than US) for an Apple Television. Ten per cent said that they would pay more than $2000 (£1,239) for the product.

On average, the maximum price tag of the Apple Television that consumers would be willing to cough up for was $1,060 (£657), which is 20 per cent more than most of the respondents had paid for their current TV.

Younger consumers between the ages of 18 and 29 said that they would pay the most, 32 per cent more that they did for their current TV for an Apple Television.

Overall, Huberty's survey resulted in the conclusion that an Apple Television represents a $14 billion opportunity for the company that could add around $4.50 to Apple's earnings per share (EPS).

But Forbes' Eric Jackson highlights that Huberty's estimates are based just on the US, and only on those who said that they are "extremely interested" in buying an Apple Television.

So, if you include the 43 million additional units that could be purchased by the 36 per cent of those who are "somewhat interested" in the Apple Television, plus, add the educated assumption that Apple could sell 64 per cent of the units outside of the US, the company could sell 156 million units in total in its first year. That equates to a possible $168 billion in revenue.

The latest rumours suggest that Apple Television prototypes have been spotted, and that Apple will launch the product in September or October next year.

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