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Apple iTV? Kinect TV? Get ready for a living-room brawl.

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Unsurprisingly, Apple issued no formal comment on the iTV. But according to the Guardian, the Apple iTV is very real, and possibly nearing production. In an article filed on Saturday, Julliete Garside writes that Sharp, the Japanese technology giant, will handle the displays on the new iTVs – caveat: iTV is a nickname coined in the blogosphere, and by no means a working title – and estimates that the device will hit in the "second half of 2012." 

Garside's chief source is Peter Misek, an analyst at Jefferies, a US investment bank. Not only does Misek believe the iTV is imminent, he also indicates that the rest of the market has begun to adjust accordingly. "Other TV manufacturers have begun a scrambling search to identify what iTV will be and do," Misek says. "They hope to avoid the fate of other industries and manufacturers who were caught flat-footed by Apple."

So is this the real deal? Well, possibly, although as plenty of tech pundits have scrambled to point out, an Apple iTV is far from a guaranteed success. Consider, for instance, the sheer amount of cheap, powerful television sets being produced today. Whereas Apple created its own product categories with the iPod and iPad, with the iTV, they would be vying against a cadre of established, well-entrenched players. 

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