New evidence out of China suggests Apple may introduce a new Apple TV, or an Apple TV-like device, at next week’s iPhone event. According to data discovered by Panjiva, shipments for a “set top box with communication function” were sent out of China late last month to Apple, though information beyond that is nonexistent. We’ve heard reports Apple might introduce a completely new TV product this fall, and we might see it as early as Sept. 10.
Apple has always maintained the Apple TV is merely a hobby, but with the set top box market getting even more crowded this year, the Cupertino company might finally take a different approach. Many of today’s largest companies are reportedly working on all new on-demand streaming services, and this mysterious new product could help usher in Apple’s new TV vision. Of course, rumors have been so conflicting lately, it’s difficult to make sense of what Apple has coming next.
With little information to go on, the shipments could merely be for a slightly updated Apple TV; the company has quietly updated its Apple TV over the last several months, and this could be a similar situation. In a report from August, sources claimed Apple was working on a new television product that would come with a new interaction model—perhaps the “communication function” could be a hint, though that earlier report claimed voice wouldn’t play a prominent role.
Seeing as iOS 7 is incoming, the shipments could merely indicate some kind of deeper relationship between iOS devices and the Apple TV. If this was something truly significant, I imagine it wouldn’t be introduced on an iPhone day, but who knows. Tim Cook and Co. have an event scheduled for next Wednesday, so we’ll find out soon enough.