In a note to clients — as reported by “CNET” — the Piper Jaffray research firm says if Apple does release a much-rumored HDTV (the so-called “iTV”) nearly a third of the 200 consumers it surveyed would upgrade to it if the price is right.

Approximtely 49%of the consumers surveyed said they would be interested in purchasing an Apple-marketed TV set, according to survey results released this evening by Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. Twenty-nine percent said they weren’t in the market to buy a new TV but that an Apple entry would turn them into buyers.

However, only 12% of those interested in an iTV said they were willing to pay the $1,500 estimated retail price for the set. “The hurdle Apple is going to face with winning consumers to Apple Television is price,” Munster said. “Over the past seven years, consumers have been conditioned to pay progressively less for TVs, with the average 32-inch TV price down 76 percent since 2005.”

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