iOS 7 May Come with a Side of Apple TV

Apple TV with iOS 7

Everyone’s on the lookout for the debut of iOS 7 at Apple’s big press conference scheduled for next week. But GigaOM is reporting that, based on available shipping data from an analytics company called Panjiva, a new Apple TV set-top may also be in the cards.

According to the report, Apple received shipments labeled “Set Top Box with Communication Function” from a company called BYD Precision Manufacture based in Shenzhen, China on August 11th, 18th, and 25th. Panjiva is postulating that since Apple’s last set-top shipment was from a different company, Hon Hai, these latest devices are a new product altogether.

Aside from the timing of the set-top shipments, some of the new features in Apple’s mobile OS update also tie nicely with the idea of an upgraded TV product. For one thing, Apple will support device-to-device connections in iOS 7, which would allow a set-top to communicate directly with other gadgets (including gaming controllers!) without the need for an Internet connection.

And for another, Apple is emphasizing its enhanced auto-layout functionality in the new OS. The idea is that content will adjust automatically to fit whatever screen is being used. Although Apple already supports some auto-layout functionality in iOS 6, there are new settings in iOS 7 for automatic positioning and dynamic sizing.

One final note, Apple has made some significant content updates to the Apple TV of late, including WatchESPN and new apps from Disney and Vevo. Perhaps these were a prelude to new hardware?

Let the rumors and speculation continue. We’ll all find out for sure next week.

10 thoughts on “iOS 7 May Come with a Side of Apple TV”

  1. I just want Amazon Prime. Seriously, is that so hard?

    Well, that and an App Store. And a Plex client. And DIAL support. And support for network streaming MKV files. And a torrent client. And VOD support for Comcast. And live TV support for OTA channels. And QAM. And IP Gateways. And a DVR. With an amazing U/I. And a gaming controller that is mind blowing. And exclusive games. For next to nothing. And no recurring charges. And a way to skip all the commercials automatically. Oh, wait…

  2. “I just want Amazon Prime. Seriously, is that so hard?”

    It’ll be a cold, cold day in hell when Amazon Prime or VOD shows up on an Apple lean-back box or set. Seriously, you do get the reasoning on this, right?

    (Which is precisely why I’ll never buy an Apple lean-back box or set.)

    Apologies if I incorrectly took the first part as sincere, while correctly recognizing the second paragraph as sarcasm…

  3. 1. Airport Extremes and Time Capsules having been updated recently to support the newer WiFi standard 802.11ac – which the new iPhone might possibly support.

    An updated Apple TV with 802.11ac seems a reasonable to also refresh.

    2. The import research indicates that the supplier Apple got set top boxes from before these Aug. shipments was Hon Hai. Adding some weight to the possibility that the BYD Precision Manufacture shipment is a different model.

    3. The price drop on the the Apple TV 2nd Gen. refurb dropped to $85 refurb about Feb. 22, 2012. ATV3 was released March 7, 2012.

    Apple recently on July 31, 2013 cut prices of refurbished Apple TV 3rd. Gen to $75.

    ATV3 seems to follow discount trend ATV2 took ahead of ATV3 pointing to ATV3 being replaced by an ATV4.

  4. It would be nice to see some of the other premium providers’ apps as well. Showtime Anytime and EPIX would be nice, and the lack of MAX Go doesn’t make a lot of sense since HBO Go is already present.

  5. @Chucky – there is no reason to believe Amazon Prime won’t be there if they add app store support. Amazon prime streaming already exists on iPhone/iPad so I have no reason to think Amazon wouldn’t port it to Apple TV if the store goes there.

  6. “so I have no reason to think Amazon wouldn’t port it to Apple TV if the store goes there.”

    I fully agree with you that Amazon would port it. But that’s not the issue. The issue is whether or not Apple would allow it. And I can’t imagine that they would.

  7. AllThingsD is saying no new hardware next week, fwiw. But there is at least one rumor of a Siri remote in the pipeline.

  8. I think its unlikely there’s anything really new here. Perhaps slightly updated hardware, e.g. new processor/GPU, maybe updated bluetooth support or something. If I had to bet on new hardware it would be something like a Bluetooth Game Controller. Course that wouldn’t really make sense without an app store…

    An app store plus game controller would basically kill the Wii U. Whether it would put much of a dent into the XB1 or PS4 would depend on the games, but it would certainly hurt them a little. Course that’s the thinking behind the PS Vita TV, and we’ll see how that does.

    Chuckie, while I agree that its entirely possible Apple would block or not support Amazon’s “free with Prime” streaming app, its available on the iPad and iPhone so its certainly not outside the realm of possibility. I agree there is no chance we’ll ever see the pay for a rental version where money changes hands on the transaction given the 30% cut Apple would require, and Amazon’s unwillingness to provide same.

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