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Apple television set on its way, claims former Apple exec

An anonymous tip-off from a former Apple exec hints at an upcoming launch of an Apple television set that runs on iOS.

The Apple rumour mill is churning once again. Mercifully, the latest loaf of speculation doesn't concern the iPhone 5, but instead suggests we may see an Apple television set by the end of this year.

An Apple television has been the subject of much discussion over the past few years, with fresh rumours of a launch cropping up every so often. This time, DailyTech's source -- a former Apple executive -- reckons Steve Jobs is planning an autumn launch.

The rumoured telly isn't to be confused with Apple TV, a set-top box for streaming video. But it's expected that the television will have Apple TV built in, allowing you to stream content from your iPhone, iPad, MacBook or over the Internet.

The TV is also rumoured to run on Apple's iOS mobile operating system, which should allow developers to create apps for the big screen. If that's true, then expect content-streaming apps such as BBC iPlayer to make an appearance.

The TV is apparently to be made by an OEM -- most probably Samsung. It's hard to believe that Apple would let one firm do all the work, though -- it's much more Apple's style to have the parts made by various companies and slap them together in its own workshops.

Similarly hard to believe is the late 2011 launch date. The rigorous development we'd expect from Apple in developing an entirely new product that 'just works' is likely to push any launch date into next year.

There are no solid facts surrounding an Apple television, so we can't recommend you save your money up quite yet. Poor sales of Apple TV (the set-top box -- try not to get confused here) could suggest that further ventures into the TV market by Apple are unlikely.

On the other hand, having a living room full of connected gadgets talking seamlessly with each other is a very 'Apple' concept, and recent Apple job listings have hinted that a standalone TV set may be in the works. We could find ourselves watching Neighbours on an Apple television in the near future after all.