There has been a lot of speculation lately about Apple’s (NASD:AAPL) plans to enter the television display market with an Apple-branded TV set (as distinguished from the Apple TV set top box).

On Wednesday, DailyTech cited a former Apple executive who spoke on the condition of anonymity as saying that Apple plans to “blow Netflix and all those other guys away” by bundling Apple TV + iTunes inside physical television sets.

Today CNN reported on the vision of Piper Jaffray’s senior Apple analyst Gene Munster who has long championed the idea of an Apple-branded TV set. In the report, CNN refers to Munster’s 2009 roadmap and a recent note to clients issued early Thursday to connect the dots pointing to the likely launch of an Apple-branded TV set in late 2012. According to Munster as reported by CNN, there are four key developments leading to this conclusion:  Apple’s launch of iCloud, which could be expanded to add movies, video and television content, recent applications with the US Patent & Trademark Office relating to television-specific technology, success with the App Store, which suggests that developers and consumers have an appetite for new Apple television apps, and Munster’s reference to a likely component deal that he believes could secure up to 50″ LCD displays.

Not everyone agrees, however, on the question of whether, when and how Apple might enter the television set market. TechCrunch reporter MG Siegler wrote an interesting analysis on this on Tuesday, questioning TechDaily’s “notion that Apple would partner with an OEM to make the television sets”, while concluding that Apple will eventually get into the television set business.

Related Links: (CNN) (TechCrunch)