Rumor: Apple to unveil new Apple TV in April; go on sale by Christmas holidays

appletv9313According to Bloomberg, Apple is working on a new Apple TV that’ll debut later this year. Apple is allegedly in talks with pay TV provider Time Warner Cable and other partners to provide content for the product.

The rumor suggests that Apple will unveil the device in April, but will start selling the device only in time for the holiday shopping season.According to sources familiar with the matter, the next Apple TV will mirror current models with a set-top box form factor that’ll plug into a HDTV. It’ll ship with a faster processor than the current generation Apple TV and new UI that’ll make it easier to browse through content.

Re/code predicts the Apple TV could function like a Roku box. The device would piggyback on top of existing cable service and provide a way for customers to watch their cable TV in rooms that don’t have a set-top box. In negotiations, Apple could be bringing back old ideas like a $30 bundle of “next day” TV or ad-skip that’ll allow it to differentiate its product from the current lineup of Roku, Tivosand other media playing devices.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has hinted at an improved Apple TV saying in an interview with NBC Rockcenter’s Brian Williams that the living room is an “area of intense interest for the company.” Speculation from noted Apple analyst Gene Munster has pointed to an Apple-branded television but more recent rumors hint at an iteration of the company’s current set-top box.

Apple is allegedly in the negotiating stage with content providers to secure programming for the device. These rumors are reminiscent of those we heard in regards to iTunes Radio. Years before the streaming radio service debuted, Apple was rumored to be hammering out licensing agreements with the big music labels. This time around Apple is chasing Hollywood studios and other content providers for their living room solution.