Apple TV - Generic - 002

Apple’s rumored Apple TV revamp isn’t expected to launch until the end of this year, according to Bloomberg, pending content negotiations. The report claims Apple plans on introducing a new living room-centric product “as early as April,” but content negotiation setbacks could push back its release to the Christmas shopping period—or even beyond. A previous report from 9to5Mac said Apple was already testing an Apple TV successor, set for an announcement next month, and was prepping the device for a launch during the first half of this year.

Bloomberg’s sources claim Apple is in negotiations with Time Warner Cable and other partners about securing programming and distribution agreements, though it’s unclear how far along discussions are. The new set-top box is expected to possess TV tuner capabilities, among other features, including a faster processor and the possibility of AirPort Express-like functionality. Additionally, the new Apple TV will supposedly feature a fresh interface that’ll make navigation easier, and also the potential for app store access.

We’ve been seeing references to an unknown Apple TV in the company’s mobile software going back to September of last year, and it’s likely development has been going on for much longer than that. For years people have expected Apple to release an actual iTV, but the most recent evidence suggests Apple’s living room hobby is going to blossom into something much larger this year. In addition to improved specs, the new Apple TV is also expected to feature heavy emphasis on gaming and apps, though Bloomberg’s report has no mention of that.

Tim Cook has repeatedly reassured consumers that 2014 will be filled with plenty of exciting product introductions, and the Apple TV sure sounds like it’ll be the product that kicks everything off. An April reveal makes sense, but why would Apple announce it so early if it’s not going to hit the market until the holidays? If that’s the case, who will still buy the existing model?