Update 2:05 p.m.: According to Bloomberg sources, a new Apple TV may make its way into the market sometime in April. Time Warner Cable and other content providers are reportedly in talks with Apple to provide additional video content.
With Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) working to finalize iOS 7.1 for a widely rumored March release, Apple fans and industry watchers continue to look for clues about possible surprises that may complement the upcoming update to Apple iOS 7.
While there are rumors of several new products in development such as the iWatch, the product that’s anticipated for release this 2014 is the Apple TV.
The third generation of Apple TV is well over a year old now, sporting a single- core Apple A5 processor, 512 MB of ram, 8GB NAND flash memory, Bluetooth, diagnostic micro USB port, HDMI, optical audio output, Ethernet, 802.11n Wi-Fi, an infrared receiver and support for 1080p video.
Rumors back in Fall 2013 initially pointed to an update to the Apple TV (with some sources even retracting their initial speculation). However, the Apple event came around in October, with no Apple TV in sight, even as new iPads and Macbook Pros were announced alongside a completely new Mac Pro and OSX Mavericks. Since then, news about an Apple TV update was relatively quiet as attention turned toward wearable devices such as the rumored iWatch.
Now attention has turned back toward the Apple TV as new evidence emerged of a new Apple TV complementing the release of iOS 7.1.
9to5Mac reports that the latest developer builds of iOS 7.1 contain references to “AppleTV4,1” a model number unseen in previous builds of iOS 7. While a release in March only rumored, previous release date history of the Apple TV would indicate a strong possibility of an Apple TV release this march alongside iOS 7.1.
Earlier in January, shoppers of the Apple online store noticed a new redesign that placed renewed emphasis on the Apple TV, leading industry watchers to speculate about the reasoning for the redesign.
As for what this new features Apple TV may contain, several Apple-focused blogs and technology website have speculated everything from video game console-like features, to cable television support.
Set-top television boxes with video game support have been a hot topic of 2014, especially after the release of the Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Xbox One, Sony (NYSE:SNE) PlayStation 4 and Steam Machine placed a renewed emphasis on next-generation gaming.
Apple competitors don’t appear to be sitting idle either, as Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is also reportedly developing an android-based console that may retail for $300.
While rumors strongly indicate the possibility of video game integration in the next iteration of Apple TV, realistically Apple still needs to find a way to streamline searching for content across the growing list of content partner apps that have made their way on to Apple TV.
Regardless of what features are expected in the next iteration of Apple TV, it becoming clearer that Apple is gearing up for a launch of several new products this year, which may very well include the anticipated Apple TV.
Industry watchers and Apple fans will have to wait in the meantime to see whether the rumored and anticipated Apple TV will be a cord-cutter’s dream device, or possibly something completely unexpected.