More clues are piling up that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has some big plans in the works for Apple TV. Most recently, on Monday night, the company made some changes to its website in order to promote Valentine’s Day deals and give the Apple TV its own prominent section. According to 9to5Mac, Apple TV had previously been hidden in the iPod section, but now the device is being promoted as its own independent product line.
Rumors about a revamped Apple TV have been flying for months, but this is the closest to concrete proof that Apple has big plans for the device thus far. If Apple is getting ready to release a better version of its TV set-top box, it makes sense for the company to give the product better placement on the Apple site.
Anonymous sources who spoke to 9to5Mac gave some more details about the new and improved Apple TV. They said the device will include an AirPort Express wireless router within the set-top box. The website said such a move would improve video quality and make the overall system more simple to set up than requiring users to connect the box to a wireless router in another room.
iLounge reported last week that industry sources said a new Apple TV would be launched by March, and that the product will contain gaming capabilities and provide access to Apple’s App Store. Apple could also create a new, separate Game Store specifically for the device. Another possibility could be a motion-sensing system similar to Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Kinect used on the Xbox console. 9to5Mac said that iPhones, iPads, and iPods could be used as controllers for the gaming system.
Apple shares fell after the company reported quarterly results last week. While it did sell a record number of iPhones, it didn’t sell as many of the devices as analysts had expected. CEO Tim Cook is under increasing pressure to prove that the company is still innovative enough to come up with great new products, which hasn’t been done since the 2010 release of the iPad. Cook promised that 2014 would bring new Apple products, although he remained characteristically mum on what they would be.
It looks like a redesigned Apple TV set-top box could be one of the new Apple devices Cook was alluding to. Creating a better, simpler television interface for users was a dream of former CEO Steve Jobs. Biographer Walter Isaacson reported that the late Apple CEO told him: “I’d like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use. It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud. No longer would users have to fiddle with complex remotes for DVD players and cable channels. It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.”
That’s a big idea for Cook to try and make a reality, but according to industry rumors and Apple’s reorganized site, he may well have done it.
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