The latest iTV whispers

The rumor mill is, somewhat predictably, in overdrive about an Apple-built television set these days, following mention of it in Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs. And some of what’s being talked about is pretty fascinating – assuming it’s not just an elaborate game of telephone. Appletv

The latest suggestion is that the set, collectively dubbed iTV, will feature extensive voice control that’s run by Siri, the intelligent assistant that’s the star of the iPhone 4S.

Nick Bilton of the New York Times, says an Apple-made set “is not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.” The project, he maintains, has been in the works for years – with origins that could reach as far back as 2007. However, the company still has a lot of work left to do.

“It’s the stuff of science fiction, ” writes Bilton. “You sit on your couch and rather than fumble with several remotes or use hand gestures, you simply talk: ‘Put on the last episode of Gossip Girl.’ ‘Play the local news headlines.’ ‘Play some Coldplay music videos.’ Siri does the rest.”

The TV market could be a lucrative one for the company. Barclays predicts that even excluding content deals, Apple could generate an additional $19 billion in revenue a year from an iTV.