According to GigaOM, along with shipments of the not-so-secret iPhone 5S and 5C set to debut at an event next week, Apple has also received three different shipments of “set top boxes” and “set top box with communication function,” which may very well may contain a new version (or versions?) of the Apple TV.
According to the story:
Using the Panjiva Shipment Search, the company found the original bill of landing [sic] data from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Based on that information, Panjiva suggests that
- On August 25th, Apple received a shipment described as “Set Top Box with Communication Function” from BYD Precision Manufacture in Shenzhen, China.
- On August 18th, Apple received another shipment, again from BYD, described as “Set Top Boxes.”
- And on August 11th, Apple received its first shipment from BYD of “Set Top Box with Communication Function.
iPhone shipments are in the same batches, and given that Apple has scheduled one of its famous press conferences for next week, this could be a “one more thing.” If everything works out, we could be seeing new Apple TVs on or after September 20th. While a revamped Apple TV has been thought to be part of Apple’s stalled iTV project, few people have thought there would be another set top box before Apple moves into the actual living-room display market. Apple’s streaming box has been steadily improved over the years, and has quietly become one of the biggest standalone streamers on the market, fighting toe to toe with Roku for living room supremacy.
Whether or not the new Apple TV actually introduces anything substantially new (assuming, that is, that it actually exists) remains to be seen. This could just be a new shipment of the same old Apple TV introduced in March of last year. But that “Communication Function” remains a tantalizing mystery.
At any rate, we should find out what all this fuss is about next week.