As long-time readers of my blog know, I have considered an Apple all-in-one flat-screen "iTV" to be inevitable for nearly 3 years. The living room opportunity is simply too good to ignore -- it is the next great frontier for Apple.
Will 2012 be THAT year?
As my magic 8-ball would say, "Signs Point to YES!"
The latest indicator? Apple's CEO Tim Cook himself, speaking at Walt Mossberg's annual D3 Conference. When pressed on this topic, Cook said its current Apple TV "hobby" is "an area of intense interest for us." And, then he added this tasty morsel -- "We are going to keep pulling this string to see where it takes us." He also underscored "We have some incredible things coming out" in the near-term.
Now, none of these things, mind you, confirm that the iTV is coming any time soon.
But, mark my words, it will be later this year. My only caveat is if Apple doesn't finalize its iTV content strategy in time, because Apple's iTV must be a differentiated "experience." And, "experience", for Apple, means a seamless marriage of beautiful hardware with software and services.