While there haven’t been a lot of rumors regarding the Apple TV recently (the $99 box, not the television, of course), except an FCC filing from January revealing a new model number, it appears that Apple may be preparing to release a new model of their “hobby” entertainment device.
According to Utah Apple reseller and service provider Simply Mac, the Apple TV appears to be disappearing from store shelves in Utah. We’ve taken the liberty of doing a bit of digging, and have discovered that Utah is not the only state that Apple TV stock seems severely constrained.
Using BestBuy.com’s store availability tool, we found that the Apple TV is out of stock in many Best Buy stores across the U.S. The device is also out of stock at major Apple reseller MacMall – and, much to my surprise, is even beginning to disappear from shelves at Apple’s own retail stores, as seen in the screenshots below using Apple’s store pickup availability tool.
While the Apple TV is out of stock at Best Buy stores and Apple Retails Stores in some states, however, other states (and certain stores in stock-limited states) still appear to have plentiful supplies.
I called around to a number of Apple resellers, including MacMall, Best Buy, and local Utah Apple resellers ExperCom and Simply Mac, and discovered that many Apple resellers have had limited stock of the device for “at least a few weeks.” Considering rumors that Apple may be preparing to launch new iPad hardware in April, could Apple also be preparing to launch a new model of the Apple TV as well?
It’s been a while since Apple updated the Apple TV hardware – not since the release of the 3rd-generation iPad in March of 2012. It’s also been a long time since Apple has made any significant changes to the Apple TV. It’s unclear what to expect from a new model, if indeed Apple is preparing to release one – an upgraded processor and other internal changes would be the only safe bets at this point.
While waning retail supplies are often an indication that Apple is preparing to refresh or discontinue a certain product, these stock-outs may also be due to other reasons, such as slow distributor shipments. But when you add the leaked FCC Apple TV model number to rumors of new Apple hardware in the coming weeks, the observation becomes a bit more interesting.
We’ll be keeping our eye on the stock levels over the next few weeks to see what happens. Are you ready for an updated model of Apple’s AirPlay-enabled “hobby”?