Apple is planning to unveil its latest Apple TV set-top box by April, according to reports
The new device will be announced by April for sale by Christmas, sources told Bloomberg.
Apple is reported to have held negotiation meetings with Time Warner Cable since the middle of last year, amongst other potential partners for video content. An agreement with Time Warner Cable would mark the first such deal with a cable or satellite company.
The new device, which plugs into a television set, will have a faster processor than the previous version and an upgraded interface to make it easier for customers to navigate between TV shows, movies and other online content, one person said.
The product would set off what Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has promised to be a year full of new product introductions. The company also is exploring a smartwatch, the much-rumoured iWatch, people familiar with the plans have said.
The Time Warner deal would let Apple TV customers see a wider array of live TV channels. For the moment, they can access a limited number of individual channel apps, including Disney, ABC, ESPN, HBO, PBS and Bloomberg TV.
Access to some programming on Apple TV requires customers to prove they pay for cable or satellite, a process known as authentication. Each different app requires a login and password to be entered.
In the market for digital set-top boxes, Apple is competing against Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)’s Xbox One and Roku Inc.’s Internet-connected device. Amazon.com Inc. also has been working on a TV box, Bloomberg News reported in April, and Comcast entered the market late last year with its new digital interface -- called X1 -- that sells and rents TV shows and films much the way that Apple does through iTunes.