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Wednesday, April 03, 2013, 05:08 am PT (08:08 am ET)

Rumor: Apple television with 'iRing' motion controller to launch this year

After meeting with Apple suppliers in a tour of China and Taiwan, one analyst now believes Apple will launch a television set this year with a new ring-shaped accessory that will allow a user to control the TV set by pointing their finger.

iRing

iRing concept from 2007 by Yanko Design.


Alleged details of Apple's so-called "iTV" were published in a research note by Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets provided to AppleInsider on Wednesday. White believes that Apple will launch a full-blown television set in the later part of 2013 that promises to "revolutionize the TV experience forever."

The "iRing" accessory described by White is a new concept that has not been previously detailed in other reports. His visits with Apple suppliers suggested the ring will act as a "navigation pointer" for the television, and will allow the TV set to enhance motion detection and replace some of the functionality found in a remote.

White also believes the "iTV" will come with a "mini iTV" screen that will allow users to view content on a smaller 9.7-inch display — the same diagonal screen size as a full-size iPad. He believes this secondary display could also be used for home security, phone calls, video conferencing and more.

"Essentially, we believe the 'mini iTV' screens will be able to capture content from the 60-inch 'iTV' across a distance of up to 200 meters, allowing a user to view 'iTV' content in the kitchen, washroom, garage, bedroom, backyard, etc.," White wrote. "We believe Apple will offer one 'mini iTV' per 'iTV,' but package options will include up to four screens (i.e., one screen is part of the standard package and pay extra for each additional."

While this smaller screen will be of a similar shape to the iPad, it will have limited functionality and will not serve as an iPad replacement, the analyst said.

Apple TV


White also sees Apple's rumored smart watch accessory tying in to the "iTV" ecosystem and complementing the "iRing." Together, he believes an "iWatch" and an Apple ring would supplant the need to carry a smartphone around the house.

In all, he expects Apple's television and the included accessories to be priced between $1,500 and $2,500, depending on the number of "mini iTVs" a user opts to include and the screen size of the television. He expects Apple to offer a 60-inch television, but believes options could also be available in the 50- to 55-inch range.