The Apple Inc. logo is seen in the lobby of New York City's flagship Apple store
The Apple Inc. logo is seen in the lobby of New York City's flagship Apple store January 18, 2011. REUTERS

Apple may manufacture its own iOS-powered television sets later this year and its release could coincide with the launch of iPhone 5, according to rumors.

Analysts have long been expecting such a move from Apple as it allows it to compete with Netflix. The move is significant as it gives Apple, which relies heavily upon but a few hit products in addition to personal computers, another key consumer product, as well as an outlet for its iTunes service which sells music and videos and apps to consumers.

An anonymous former executive from Apple speculates that the company might launch a television set later this year. The device is expected to integrate functions from the Apple TV, iTunes, and content similar to Netflix, according to Business Insider.

If Apple manages to unveil TV set later this year, then it could coincide with the launch of next generation iPhone - dubbed as iPhone 5. iPhone is widely speculated to be launched in September.

However, chances are slim for the TV to be launched with iPhone 5 as negotiations with studios may delay the product.

Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray says the Apple may sell the Apple TV as early as 2012 as the iCloud sets the stage for Apple's high-def television set.

Apple's iCloud service for media storage makes it easier to own multiple devices and share content among them. 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, Munster wrote in a note to clients.

Rumor mill says states that Apple will partner with a major OEM to sell branded TV sets. The report says that it will arrive this fall.

DailyTech citing a 'former Apple executive' states that Apple will start selling iOS-powered televisions. It further states that Apple will partner with a major OEM to sell branded TV sets. The report says that it will arrive this fall.

Apple's motivation to do so, the quoted 'executive' qualifies, is to beat Netflix by bundling Apple TV and iTunes. The possible OEM partner is Samsung.

However, the ongoing legal battle between Apple and Samsung makes the collaboration between two companies a remote event.

Meanwhile, the television domain as such is not new for Apple as it has a product called Apple TV- a black puck like iOS device which allows a user to stream content from its other iOS devices iPhone, iPad, iPod and internet to the television. Apple TV is powered by the A4 chip. Apple TV hasn't seen success like its other iOS kin iPad and iPhone. Apple slashed the price of the device to $99 from $299 and yet it has failed to catch the imagination of users.

Google also launched Google TV with Sony which uses its Android OS. It is a step ahead of Apple TV as it allows users to search the web on TV and allows a user to then access the content on TV screen. It also came pre-loaded with apps. Google TV is also failing to sell.

Apple may join the TV domain as the segment is in need of disruption and Apple is great at re-inventing product segments. Also, recently Apple released its digital locker the iCloud at WWDC, which allows users to store documents, pictures, apps and music in the cloud. As Apple's cloud strategy matures it also offers videos to be stored in the cloud. Apple Television would be a great medium to leverage the cloud in the future.

We still believe that Apple will launch its assault on the living room in Q4:CY12. We believe the smart tv is likely to be focused on streaming content and will create a halo effect for Apple's other iOS devices, Jefferies analyst Peter Misek wrote in a recent note to clients.

Misek said iCloud services are scheduled to rollout in September and is the first step in integrating the various iOS devices. However, he believes negotiations with studios will delay the launch of video iCloud services until 2012.

While a simple TV is certainly possible, Misek just believes Apple wants to do something completely different. Given Apple's historical preference to innovate a new category could Apple's introduction of the iTV allow it to launch a premium hardware?

Aside from incorporatng Apple TV-type functionality, what else could Apple include in the iTV? We believe a full browsing experience potentially incorporating an iPad, iPod Touch, or iPhone as remote control or input device is very possible. We think Apple could provide an extremely elegant solution effectively allowing the user to move content between the multiple screens, said Misek.

Recently, excluding any impact from a potential iTV launch, Misek had tried to estimate the financial impact of the roll-out of video-based cloud services in fiscal 2012 and 2013. Misek assumed a Netflix-like model at $10 a month assuming 5 million, 10 million and 20 million subscribers.

Misek assumed that 70 percent of the revenues goes to the content companies with 30 percent to Apple. On Apple's 30 percent, he assumed either a 75 percent, 85 percent, or 95 percent gross margin. To reflect the halo effect, Misek increased unit shipment estimates by 5 percent for the iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad by 5 percent. He also increase his average selling price estimates by 5 percent.

We have run a sensitivity analysis on the potential impact. Assuming an iTV launch, a cloud-based services launch, and a halo effect on existing devices (boosting units and average selling price by 5 percent), fiscal 2012 revenues would range from $150 billion to $171 billion versus our $134 billion and consensus' $118 billion, said Misek ina recent research note.