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Apple working on a TV set for 2012?

Latest rumor says such a TV would be based on Apple's iOS operating system and would be ready by early 2013.

Is Apple working on a TV set based on iOS?

The latest Apple TV rumor may seem like a rerun, but this one has been updated.

The newest iteration of the longstanding rumor is that Apple will get in to the business of selling TVs by building a digital TV based on iOS. That's according to multiple Silicon Valley sources cited by Venture Beat. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster told Venture Beat that he predicted Apple would produce a TV set by the end of 2012 or early 2013.

Munster, who has long been trumpeting the possibility of an Apple-made TV set, first floated the notion in 2009 that Apple would take a bite out of the TV market in 2011 by introducing its first television. Munster wrote in June that Apple's recently announced iCloud infrastructure makes it all the more plausible.

The rumor mill gathered steam again earlier this week when the concept garnered a brief note in a Wall Street Journal report on the challenges faced by Tim Cook, the man named to replace Steve Jobs as Apple's CEO:

An immediate challenge for Mr. Cook will be to advance Apple's plans in what is expected to be a key market for growth: digital video. Apple is working on new technology to deliver video to televisions, and has been discussing whether to try to launch a subscription TV service, according to people familiar with the matter.

An Apple job listing in February added fuel to the fire by advertising for someone to work on "new power management designs and technologies" for use on various Apple products, including a "TV."

Related stories:
• Apple kills TV rentals, subscription offer not coming
• Schmidt says Google TV heading to Europe
• Analyst: iCloud linked to Apple's TV ambitions

One of the critical aspects is the idea of Apple offering a subscription service for content. The device would presumably replace and offer more content that the $99 Apple TV set-top box, which already offers access to several third-party apps, such as NBA, MLB, and Netflix.

Recent reports have also claimed that Apple was on the verge of unveiling such a subscription service for video content. However, competitors like Amazon have already beaten Apple to the punch with their own streaming services, though they offer a smaller catalog of content than what Apple could potentially provide.

Apple rival Google entered the TV space late last year with combination of set-top boxes and TV sets that include its Google TV software. Google's strategy has been to blend in with TV content provided through a cable operator and let users execute Web searches while watching programming.