While the TV industry (and fanboys) waits to see when, and if, Apple decides to finally launch a long-rumored television, an analyst is predicting that TV functionality may wind up in Apple's computers first.
According to AppleInsider, Wedge Partners' Brian Blair is forecasting that before an Apple HDTV is unveiled, its ecosystem -- Apple TV software and iCloud access -- could be built into new iMacs, which Blair believes will be redesigned for the first half of 2012. Considering that more and more desktop PCs are mimicking the iMac all-in-one approach, this could provide a key differentiator, especially if it includes a built-in TV tuner (which the AppleInsider post doesn't mention). Blair also surmises that this would provide a way for Apple to ease into the TV world, using display sizes already in the pipeline while it prepares much larger sets.
Blair predicted that the company would release an updated iPhone 4 instead of an iPhone 5 in the fall, so maybe he knows something we don't. If that's the case, then perhaps we'll see a new iMac with Apple TV functionality previewed during the MacWorld Expo next month.