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For years Piper Jaffray's closely followed analyst Gene Munster proclaimed that Apple would soon launch a television set. On Tuesday, he offered a mea culpa after a report surfaced that the company gave up on the project more than a year ago.
"This is a tough day for me. It's a hard reality to accept, and I think that is the reality of it: the TV is on hold," Munster told "Squawk Alley."
He continued to say, "It's a small consolation that they were aggressively looking at this. At the end of the day, I was wrong. "
On Monday, The Wall Street Journal reported Apple had scrapped plans to release its own digital TV set, a product that was a decade in the making. Ultimately, the tech giant was unable to find a breakthrough feature that would justify the cost of bringing a television to market, sources told the newspaper.
The Journal reported the story after outspoken Apple investor Carl Icahn called on Apple to release high-definition sets next year.
In March, Munster told CNBC he still believed an Apple-branded television was "the most logical next area of focus " despite media reports to the contrary.
"Unfortunately if I were to replay this the last 10 years, I would've probably gotten to the same conclusions, because there were such strong indications that they were building it. It just didn't see the light of day," Munster said on Tuesday. "That's no excuse, but I think we approached it the right way. It just didn't turn out."
Munster said the development raises an important question for Apple: What is its strategy for the living room?
While the traditional television set remains the hub of living rooms, the primary screen for many people under 30 is now either a computer or smartphone, Munster noted.
"I think that this augmented and virtual reality theme is something we're going to hear more about. We do believe that Apple is experimenting with that, too, and so maybe there's something within that that could play into their broader strategy here," he said.
That development is still years away, though, and investors are now feeling disappointed, he added. "Ultimately, they want a product category to aspire to and this takes one of them off the table. "