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Analyst's years-long dream of an Apple television dies a quiet death

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Do you know what it's like to be filled with hope? To have the world rolled out in front of you, to feel that your future is limitless, to above all, see that world without cynicism? And do you remember a time you lost that feeling?

Read next: The Apple TV review.

This is an important mindset to enter before hearing the tale of Piper Jaffray financial analyst Gene Munster, whose years-long prediction that Apple will create a television set died last night, as The Wall Street Journal reported Apple had scrapped plans for a 4K TV. "Given how adamant we have been about the reality of an Apple television, it’s hard to accept the reality of no Apple television," Munster wrote in a note today. "Our latest thinking prior to this story was that Apple would launch a television in 2016. Based on this report, we no longer expect a television to launch indefinitely."

Today is a red-letter day. Munster has become a fixture among reporters, analysts, and other Apple-watchers for regularly predicting an Apple TV set, and questioning Apple on earnings calls about the possibility. Herewith, a brief history:

2009

"We expect Apple to design a connected television over the next two years (launching in 2011) with DVR functionality built in."

2010

"As connected TVs gain traction, software, content and portability will become the key differentiators and Apple is uniquely positioned to deliver a premium all-in-one solution (different than Apple TV)."

2011

"While Apple's commitment to the living room remains a 'hobby,' we continue to believe the company will enter the TV market with a full focus, as an all-in-one Apple television could move the needle when connected TVs proliferate."

2012

"If you're in the market for a new TV, hold off. Apple has a new product coming and it's going to be hot."

2013

"We felt that after viewing the conversation, it seems fairly certain that Apple will launch a television, a watch, and multiple iterations of the iPhone by the end of 2014 as well as a potential new service offering."

"No question whether it’s a set-top box versus a TV, it’s an actual TV."

2014

"Apple takes a long time in-between products. If we look back over the last decade, it's 3-6 years between major products. And so, ultimately the Watch is what hit this year, they're gonna refine that next year along with payments. And then that probably gets us into 2016 as more of a time frame for the actual television."

2015

"While recent media reports question Apple's interest in an actual television, we continue to believe it is the most logical next area of focus."

This is a sad moment. But hope against hope, there are always more rumored Apple products out there, waiting to be prognosticated on.