Everyone is talking about the new iPhones that Apple is expected to announce on September 10th, but GigaOM believes there may be more to the event than just a few new handsets. Om Malik points to a blog post from Panjiva, a firm that specializes in intelligently organizing shipping data, that suggests Apple has been receiving shipments of the next generation Apple TV.
Panjiva notes that Apple received several shipments last month that were described as “Set Top Box with Communication Function” or “Set Top Boxes.” These items were shipped from BYD Precision Manufacture in Shenzhen, China on August 11th, August 18th and August 25th.
Details on the devices inside the boxes were not included in the description, but set top boxes is descriptive enough to get the speculation flowing. The most likely explanation is that Apple is working on an updated version of the current Apple TV. The Apple TV is long overdue for a refresh, and these steady shipments would be necessary to stockpile inventory for an imminent launch.
Though GigaOM doesn’t go down this road, Panjiva takes the rumor a step further and hypothesizes that these shipments could contain Apple’s rumored TV product. The firm also notes is it equally possible these are dummy manifests designed to mislead information seekers and rumor mongers. Considering Apple’s product history and launch strategy, I would have to agree with GigaOM and place my bet on a new Apple TV.
Panjiva notes that these shipments were found using the company’s shipment search tool, and the information comes from a U.S. Department of Homeland Security bill of landing.