Apple is set to launch its own range of television in the second half of 2012 suggests a new Guardian report. This backs up previous claims by Gene Munster, managing director and senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray.

It is reported that the senior engineer Jeff Robbin is said to be overseeing the project with the TVs rumoured to get support for gesture and voice recognition. Previously Jeff Robbin has been responsible for the iTunes service and helped create the iPod.

In other reports the Japanese firm Sharp are alleged to begin commercial production of Apple TV LCD screens in February 2012.

"Other TV manufacturers have begun a scrambling search to identify what iTV will be and do," Peter Misek, Analyst at American bank Jefferies has claimed. "They hope to avoid the fate of other industries and manufacturers who were caught flat-footed by Apple."

Apple’s founder Steve Jobs said in a biography published shortly after his death in October “I’d like to create an integrated TV that is completely easy to use. It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud. It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.”

The venture is a risky one for Apple given their history with the world of television. Their previous forays have resulted in raid failure with the Apple TV, introduced in 2007, being thought to have sold no more than 2m units, compared to 40m iPads since March 2010.

Apple TV already features some basic gesture commands, using the iPhone as a remote. Users can flick it left or right or drag two fingers across its screen to fast forward or rewind, and tap to play.

Misek says the iTV could have an initial production run of 5m to 10m units, and will use liquid crystal displays.

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