Best Buy Downplays Apple TV Survey after Getting Hopes Up

Best Buy recently sent out a consumer survey that, among other things, asked participants a series of questions about a 42-inch Apple TV for $1,499 with iOS baked in. This being the age of the Internet and all, it didn't take long for a screenshot of the survey to leak online, which prompted speculation that such a TV not only exists, but might be nearing release. After all, we've been hearing rumors about an Apple brand HDTV for some time now, but a Best Buy survey ranks as the strongest indicator yet that it's going to happen. Or so it seemed. Best Buy says the Internet community shouldn't read too much into the survey.

"The customer survey was a routine offer effectiveness survey conducted by one of Best Buy’s research partners. Any brand reference was hypothetical. The survey is no longer available," Best Buy said in a statement to Wired.

When Apple does finally launch its own brand HDTV, cross your fingers it looks nothing like this.

It's a fairly canned response that doesn't hint one way or the other, which means the Best Buy spokesman did his/her job, but it also opens the door to more speculation. There's an off-chance this could have been a planned leak to drum up some pre-release hype, you know, the same type of conspiracy theory that surrounded not one, but two iPhone prototypes being lost in a bar. Or Best Buy could be shooting things straight and this was just a routine survey based on a hypothetical product.

The thing is, where there's smoke, you'll usually find fire, and there's been a lot of smoke surrounding an Apple TV. The general consensus among analysts is that Apple will release its own brand TV at some point, and the one described in Best Buy's survey seems at least plausible. It's comparatively high priced (to other 42-inch sets), sports an LED display, and boasts loads of iOS integration.

File this one under 'wait and see.'