Jefferies analyst Peter Misek thinks Apple will launch a smart TV in the fourth quarter, but he doesn't think that Apple will call its smart television the iTV. Misek is suggesting that Apple’s rumoured television should instead be called iPanel.

Misek's reasons for dismissing the name iTV are exactly the same ones that we at Macworld UK have been saying ever since Apple first announced what we now know as the Apple TV. The device was called iTV when it was first unveiled by Apple, but the name was changed prior to launch. The problem is a UK TV channel has the same name, and we absolutely can't see them giving into Apple. In fact back in February this year we reported that the chief executive of ITV had written to Apple warning them not to use the name. (More below)

Misek's also points out the existence of the UK TV channel. He says “Recent checks” suggest ITV will not sell its rights to the name, which it holds globally. Although he admits, “They may be just negotiating”, as reported by Barrons.

The analysts reason for suggesting that iPanel would be a better name are as follows:

  • It would be so much more than a TV. “It is a display, gaming center, media hub, computer, home automator, etc.”
  • The iP would be consistent with Apple's other products – iPhone, iPod, iPanel.
  • Crestron owns the “iPanel” trademark, but it has “discontinued its product line and is focusing more on Apple products to integrate in their system.”

Coming in Q4

Misek predicts a Q4 introduction of iPanel. He claims that his Asia supply chain sources expect “commercial production in May/June with 2M to 5M builds likely.” He notes the recent investment in Sharp by Hon Hai (parent company to Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn).

He writes: “We believe Sharp and Apple have modified the IGZO (indium, gallium, zinc) technology to make much-improved HD displays. The Sharp relationship will enable Apple to diversify away from Samsung and gain additional display capacity with leading-edge technology.”

Misek also notes that satellite images show that Apple has doubled the size of its data centre in North Carolina. He says “We believe that a doubling of the data center could only be driven by providing extensive video services for consumers.” It is known that Apple plans to build a 4.8-megawatt fuel cell facility in North Carolina. This week the company filed plans for what a facility that will be the largest private fuel cell energy project, a non-polluting silent power plant that will generate electricity from hydrogen.