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Santa May Deliver Apple TV

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Santa may deliver your Apple (AAPL - Get Report) TVs after all.

Apple's manufacturing partner Hon Hai Precision, expects to start receiving LCD TV panel orders from Sharp in the third-quarter of fiscal 2012, noted Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White in a research report on Thursday. White believes that Hon Hai's investment in Sharp earlier this year was an effort to support the production of a new Apple TV.

He rates Apple shares "buy" with a $1,111 price target.

"Based on a recent interview by 21cbh.com with a Sharp executive and information from sources at the company, the online news source believes the order is for the new Apple TV and could be available for the holiday season," White wrote in his report.

If Apple enters the TV market during the upcoming Christmas and holiday season, it "would make for a very merry holiday season for Apple and consumers," White penned.

The analyst predicts that the 1080p Apple TV released in March was just a precursor of Apple's full blown boob-tube, which will use a special type of motion detection technology and a unique remote control that looks similar to the iPad.

"We believe the pieces are in place for a launch soon, driving an entirely new $100 billion market opportunity or higher, while further strengthening the Company's digital grid and providing customers with a new TV experience," White said.

He estimates that if Apple can gain 2% of the LCD TV market share, it can generate sales of $10 billion.

Apple could not be immediately reached for comment on this story.

Apple's shares dropped 1.15% on Thursday, trading at $578.99.

--Written by Nathalie Pierrepont in New York.

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