Will Apple Launch a 37-inch iTV This Summer?

The release of the iPhone 4S in October ground the iPhone rumour mills to a halt. But just as quickly as those rumours died, “iTV” rumours sprouted up and grew like a magic beanstalk.

Spurred by Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs—in which Walter quotes the late Apple visionary as saying he’s “finally cracked” the key to making a great television—everyone and their dog has been speculating on the idea. Just a few months ago, it was a matter of “if.” Now it has decidedly become a matter of “when,” despite no official announcements from Apple.

The DigiTimes reports that Apple suppliers plan to start preparing materials for an iTV in the first quarter of 2012, citing “industry sources.” With that in mind, the report suggests a summer launch. Sharp is expected to make the displays while Samsung is anticipated to produce the chips. It is believed that Apple will only a launch a couple of sizes initially, most likely in the 32- to 32-inch range.

But others say that instead of an iTV, Apple will continue to improve its Apple TV set-top box, possibly even making it free or at least a loss-leader in order to gain marketshare. It would reclaim lost revenue through its content sales and rentals, akin to the PlayStation 3’s business model.