Kuo forecasted Apple TV shipments to total 8.2 million units in 2014. Apple

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) may launch a new version of its existing Apple TV set-top box featuring an A7 processor in 2014, while the long-rumored full-sized Apple television set, dubbed the “iTV,” may not arrive until the end of 2015 or early 2016, according to an analyst.

In a new research note, Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities said that Apple TV shipments have slowed significantly over the last year, hinting at a delay for the rumored “iTV.” According to Kuo’s estimates, Apple TV shipments hit only 7.6 million units during 2013, accounting for a five percent year-on-year drop.

“If Apple wants to launch iTV, the challenges of integrating content and service are more difficult considering the different TV content ecosystems (e.g. cable operators) in various countries,” MacRumors quoted Kuo as saying. “Moreover, establishing an iTV supply chain is very costly. Thus we believe iTV launch will be delayed to end-2015 or early 2016 at the earliest.”

Kuo also forecast Apple TV shipments to total 8.2 million units in 2014. However, he said that growth could be limited unless Apple is able to integrate more TV content, services and the App Store into the set-top box.

An earlier report had suggested that Apple might release an updated Apple TV product at the company’s iPad event in October. But, according to MG Siegler of Tech Crunch, the company is not yet ready to introduce a revamped hardware, which is expected to have new features, such as Siri integration or motion control.

On Monday, a blog post from NPD DisplaySearch noted that its "own information from TV supply chain sources pointed to the fact that Apple appeared to be lining up resources for a product introduction in the second half of 2014, likely with 2-3 large screen sizes and 4K resolution,” and admitted that, "it appears that Apple’s long-rumored TV plans, which were far from concrete anyway, have been put on hold again, possibly to be replaced by a rollout of wearable devices."