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Apple HDTV Showcased in Curious Survey

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Last week, Piper Jaffray (PJC) analyst and Apple (AAPL) prognosticator Gene Munster said in a note to investors that, after speaking with a "major TV component supplier," Apple had inquired about "various capabilities of their television display components." This came a week after AppleInsider uncovered a patent for a universal remote app that Apple filed in September. And both of these items occurred as more rumors are swirling that Apple will soon be releasing an actual HDTV set of its own -- taking on not only the Google TVs (GOOG) and Netflixes (NFLX) of the world, but also the Panasonics (PC) and Sonys (SNE).

But the iTV rumor mill received a curious addition recently as The Verge reports that an Apple HDTV set was the subject of a survey conducted by a Best Buy (BBY) research firm -- with the rhetoric as if the product was actually confirmed and underway.

"Be one of the first to get the all new 42" Apple HDTV at Best Buy for $1499," reads the survey. "Apple finally reinvents what the TV can do."

Along with asking subjects how likely they would be to purchase the set, the survey also lists its "features":

42" 1080p LED flat panel display
Incorporates Apple's operating system (iOS) found in its current Apple TV set top box which allows you to purchase and stream movies and other entertainment from the Internet.
Download and use apps from the App Store. Can you imagine playing Angry Birds in your living room?
Supports Apple's new iCloud service for storing your movies, TV shows, and music content that you've purchased from iTunes and beam them to your Apple HDTV.
Use your iPad or iPhone as a remote control, and do everything from controlling your TV, to purchasing new shows and swapping content between your Apple devices and the iCloud service.
Built-in convenience with built in iSight camera and microphone for Skype.
In addition to iTunes, stream content from popular sites such as Netflix, YouTube, and flickr.
Available for $1499.

While the survey incorporates some believable capabilities of the device, such as the iPhone remote and "Apple Premium" price for a 42" set, it's unlikely that Apple would hype Microsoft's (MSFT) video chat over its own proprietary FaceTime service. And, as The Verge's Chris Ziegler indicates, Apple hasn't used the iSight brand in quite some time.

So, while this survey could all be chalked up to Best Buy testing the marketability waters of a theoretical Apple HDTV, there's always the chance that the company heard of its existence and wants to run the concept by a few customers first.

(See also: Apple Gets Brutally, Hilariously Slammed by Conan O'Brien and iPhone Can't Match Android's Versatility, Says Steve Wozniak)

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POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.