NEW YORK: Nearly half of American shoppers would consider buying a TV set made by Apple, the electronics giant, a product that analysts are expecting to hit the market at some point next year.

Piper Jaffray, the investment bank, surveyed consumers and found that 49% of respondents were interested in potentially acquiring a television which was manufactured by Apple.

A further 29% of interviewees suggested they were not intending to make a category purchase at present, but could do so should this offering appear on store shelves.

"We believe this suggests that customers would be willing to interrupt an estimated seven-year TV product cycle to purchase an Apple Television," said Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray, as CNET reported.

"This is of course not surprising given the following of Apple products and widespread adoption of the iPhone and iPad."

One possible obstacle identified by the report, however, was cost. Industry observers expect Apple's TV product, forecast to be released in mid-to-late 2013, to command a retail price of around $1,500.

Just 12% of those polled expressed a willingness to pay such a high amount for this device, in a sector where the long-term trend has worked against premiumisation.

"The hurdle Apple is going to face with winning consumers to Apple Television is price," Munster said. "Over the past seven years, consumers have been conditioned to pay progressively less for TVs, with the average 32-inch TV price down 76% since 2005."

According to figures from Apple, it sold 1.3m units of its existing set-top boxes during the last quarter, and 4m units over its last fiscal year, a total that Tim Cook, the firm's CEO, described as "pretty incredible".

"It's still at a level that we would call it a hobby," he added. "But we continue to pull the string to see where it takes us and we're not one to keep around projects that we don't believe in.

"And so, there's a lot of people here that are believers in Apple TV and we continue to invest in it and see where it will take us."

Data sourced from CNET; additional content by Warc staff