Sharp could be about to begin supplying LCD panels to Foxconn to be made into Apple television sets.

In a research note sent out on Thursday, Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White points to Chinese 21cbh.com’s report, which claims that Foxconn will begin receiving LCD TV panels from Japanese display maker Sharp for an Apple television ahead of its original fourth quarter estimate.

The Chinese news website claims to have spoken with Sharp executives among other sources, which led to the conclusion that we’ll see the rumoured smart TV from Apple before Christmas.

“In our view, a holiday launch would make for a very merry holiday season for Apple and consumers,” said White. “We believe the pieces are in place for a launch soon, driving an entirely new $100 billion market opertunity or higher (given a higher ASP at Apple), while further strengthening the company's digital grid and providing customers with a new TV experience.”

This latest rumour about the much speculated Apple television began to form on Monday, when Foxconn, Apple’s primary manufacturing partner, announced its partnership with Sharp, an alliance that Foxconn CEO Terry Gou believes will help them beat Samsung within three to five years.

Earlier this month, White said that he had spoken with sources in the Apple supply chain at the Computex trade show, who revealed that the Apple television will have new motion detection technology and will come with a touchscreen remote that resembles and iPad, but has a plastic exterior.

Via Apple Insider