updated 01:17 pm EDT, Tue April 8, 2014
May tie into earlier Time Warner rumors
An FCC filing made by Comcast and Time Warner -- attempting to defend their proposed merger -- also hints that Apple is developing a new Apple TV set-top, reports note. "Today, Google competes as a network, video, and technology provider, and 8 out 9 of the next Google Fiber markets the company announced are in Comcast or TWC areas," part of the filing reads. "Apple tablets are viewing platforms for cable services even while Apple offers an online video service, Apple TV, and explores development of an Apple set-top box."
Past reports have suggested the possibility of an Apple TV that could operate as an interface for Time Warner subscribers; Comcast, separately, has allegedly been in talks with Apple regarding a streaming TV service, which would also demand a new Apple set-top. The announcement of an updated Apple TV has been rumored as happening as soon as this month, but may have been derailed by the Time Warner/Comcast deal.
In the past year Apple has been intensifying work on the Apple TV, mainly by expanding the number of app "channels" on the device. The company may need to release a new model within the next several months to fend off competition from devices like the Google Chromecast, the Roku Streaming Stick, and the Amazon Fire TV.