Those hoping for Apple flatscreen TV launch before the end of the year should temper their enthusiasm because it's not coming until at least 2014, according to one analyst.

Apple's heavily rumoured entry into the HD TV market has been one of the tech stories of 2012, with the company said to be working hard on content deals with major studios and networks.

However, with agreements with wary TV executives reportedly more difficult to come by than Cupertino had anticipated, J.P. Morgan's Mark Moskowitz reckons a launch is far from imminent.

The company's research "does not indicate any looming TV-related product launch," Moskowitz said.

Could it prevail?

The analyst also noted that a flatscreen TV launch would not guarantee success, with the market conditions meaning users would be unlikely to pay over-the-odds for the Apple name.

"We are not sure that the Apple premium could prevail in the TV market," and it would need a "radical change of the user interface, integration of the TV programming and data content, and use of gesture or voice control," to succeed, said Moskowitz.

"We believe that the economics of the TV industry are strained, despite there being suitable offerings from the likes of Sony, Sharp, and Samsung. Overall, we would be surprised to see Apple enter a new market unless the value proposition could support double-digit operating margins. In TVs, that bogey is rather elusive, in our view.

"Despite our current skepticism, we think that if any company can radically alter the TV landscape, it is Apple," he added.

iPay

Instead of moving full steam ahead with a telly, the analyst reckons Apple could switch its attentions to a mobile payments service called, naturally, iPay.

This would require the company to start fitting its iDevices with NFC tech. Just yesterday we reported on a patent that would allow iTunes users to 'gift' iTunes content to other users.

Via: ZDnet, CNET