Apple's mythical iTV: why it won't launch until 2014

The elusive Apple iTV will remain unseen until next year, according to Jefferies analyst Peter Misek.

In a note to investors, Misek said that the iTV's expected autumn launch has been pushed to "some time" in 2014, citing LG and Sharp as delaying factors.

"We had thought that Apple's software and ecosystem would be enough to drive demand but our checks indicate that Apple wants the hardware to also stand out," Misek said. "We believe Apple wants a display that looks like 4K/Ultra HD but without the super-premium cost."

Alas, the wait continues. Misek does not have the best track record when it comes to predicting Apple launches. He has been forecasting an imminent Apple television set launch for more than a year, most recently tipping this month (March 2013) for the unveiling, ahead of a release in September or October.

Analyst Gene Munster has also been hot on the trail of an iTV. During a January earnings call, Munster asked about the prospect of an Apple-branded TV, but Apple CEO Tim Cook said Munster was "asking me all questions I don't want to answer."

Cook instead switched to a discussion about Apple's existing set-top box. "There is a lot we can contribute in this space and so we continue to pull the string and see where it leads us, but I don't want to be more specific," he said at the time.

Meanwhile, Misek's note pointed to an iPhone 5S/low-cost iPhone launch delay, from June to July/September, due to problems with new casing colours.

To compensate, the Cupertino-based firm will likely try to push out a new iPad in June, Misek said, adding that the company is switching to an IGZO display to slim down the 9.7in tablet and attempt to reboot sales. An iPad mini with Retina display could join the lineup, as well.

On top of all that, Misek expects an iPhone 6 with "fingerprint technology" to launch early in 2014, "to stop the hemorrhaging to phablets."

There is also a more than 50 per cent change of the Apple iWatch with a 1in display launching this year — a timeline with which Citigroup analyst Oliver Chen agrees.