The Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) rumor that will not die is clawing its way out of the grave again.

In a note to clients yesterday, Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White predicts that Apple will roll out a Web-tethered television in time for this year's holiday shopping season.

This has nothing to do with the pure speculation of an Apple video subscription service that was brought up by Jefferies senior technology analyst Peter Misek earlier this week. White's forecast is closer to what Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has been predicting for years. We're talking about a full-blown, big-ticket flat-screen TV.

White isn't divulging his sources, but he's at an electronics trade show in China. Is this a case of a supplier's loose lips revealing Apple's hand early, or is someone playing a cruel prank on White?

Apple wouldn't be the first computer heavy that wants to be a TV star. Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) figured that selling high-def flat screens was just an evolutionary step from selling PC monitors. HP was even ahead of its time, introducing its Wi-Fi-backed MediaSmart television five years ago.

Dell and HP took their lumps. They still sell LCD televisions on their sites, but we're talking about third-party TVs now.

Apple's smart TV would probably be closer to the television line that Sony (NYSE: SNE) put out late last year, powered by Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) Google TV platform. It would run Apple's iOS, opening it up to the App Store ecosystem and FaceTime video chat.

Hopefully, Apple will learn from some of Google's initial miscues. Google TV hasn't been a hit since its autumn launch. Logitech (Nasdaq: LOGI) marked down its Google TV Revue boxes after just two months on the market. Sony just shaved $200 off its 40-inch and 46-inch TV models this month.

Are the Google TV allies simply reacting to market demand, or are these price cuts a proactive move to either scare off Apple or to go mainstream before Apple turns Munster and White into visionaries by actually putting out a Web-savvy TV?

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