Quoting the ever popular “people with knowledge of the matter,” Bloomberg reports today that Apple is planning to introduce a new Apple TV set-top box, possibly as early as April, with an actual release date during the holiday season. The company is also reportedly still in negotiations with Time Warner Cable and other potential content partners.
Apple is aiming to have the device available for sale by the Christmas holidays, though the release date could change because the company is still in the process of securing new agreements with programming and distribution partners, said two people, who asked not to be identified because the plans are private.
The new set-top device will include a faster processor and an upgraded interface. Apple’s current Apple TV interface, while an improvement over previous layouts, has started to become unwieldy as Apple has continued to add content providers.
A deal with Time Warner Cable would mark the first deal of its type that Apple would have made with a pay-TV provider.
The long lead time, while unusual for Apple excepting major product releases, could be to allow for developers to create apps and games for the device. Earlier this week, references to new Apple TV hardware was discovered in a beta release of iOS 7. The find also suggested the new box would be compatible with Bluetooth gaming controllers.
January saw the introduction of an Apple TV specific area on the Apple Online Store, indicating the device could have a future as a bigger part of Apple’s lineup.