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Is Apple's next big move the revolution of the small screen? Despite the company's less-than-stellar past attempts at putting its imprint on the television, many believe 2012 is the year Apple will up its efforts to change the device with a big product launch.

If Apple does move forward with a smart television, there's one obvious name that would be most fitting: iTV. After all, Apple has become synonymous with 'i-' products, from the iPod to the iPad.

But Apple may have to settle for something other than iTV if broadcaster ITV has its way. According to The Telegraph, the company has written a letter to the Cupertino-based hardware giant warning against adopting the iTV moniker.

ITV is denying The Telegraph's report, calling it "entirely speculative", but it is known that ITV's CEO brought the naming issue up with Apple when he took the helm in 2010. At the time, he reportedly "received assurances that Apple would not muscle into its territory, at least in the UK." With Steve Jobs' passing, The Telegraph says there's concern that Apple's new CEO, Tim Cook, may not honour the assurances his company provided to ITV two years ago.

True or not, companies like ITV have reason to be concerned. After all, if Apple is able to upend the market for television programming the way it upended the market for music, major players like ITV will almost certainly be impacted, some of them in a big way.

From this perspective, the name Apple gives to its long-awaited smart television offering is probably one of the least important concerns ITV should have. Interesting, as some analysts suggest, that could be solved quite easily, with Apple buying ITV entirely, killing two birds with one stone in the process.

Patricio Robles

Published 13 February, 2012 by Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles is a tech reporter at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

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Comments (4)

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Jenni

Apple approached ITV ages ago offering to buy them out, and ITV rejected them on the grounds of the original Granada/naming issues confusing people. So I don't see a buy out happening any time soon unless there is a ridiculous sum of money involved.

over 4 years ago

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Michael Bolton, Director Ecommerce Services at An Organisation

It's Apple and its California so ridiculous sums of money could be involved.
.

over 4 years ago

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Neale Gilhooley

Apple does seem to have a way of getting what it wants regardless of patents and existing trademarks.

The Beatles own record label called Apple (est 1968) holds the trademark for ‘music duplication and distribution’ but that did not stop Apple (Macintosh) from winning (or not losing) the trademark case here in the UK.

Deep pockets and legal muscle shall prevail.

over 4 years ago

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Mark Grady

"iTV" (with the lower-case i) has been around as an acronym for generic "interactive TV" for quite some time now so it would be hard for Apple to justify the the land-grab even if you don't take into account ITV's all caps acronym.

Apple TV would fulfil the some of expectation of "iTV" by having an interactive interface but whether it would capture the immersive experience that has long been alluded to in "iTV" aspirations remains to be seen.

over 4 years ago

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