You may have heard that Comcast wants to buy Time Warner. In a proposal published today that pitches the merger to the FCC, Comcast drops a hint about Apple’s future plans for the TV.
Although by no means a definite indication beyond the previous rumors that something new is coming, Comcast says that Apple is working on a set-top box. Given that Apple and Comcast have been in talks, the cable giant would be in a position to know.
In a section of the proposal that details how tech companies like Google and Amazon are posing a threat to the world of traditional cable, Comcast shares this little nugget (emphasis added):
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.
The wording is interesting because it separates the current Apple TV as an online video service from a set-top box. Although it has been rumored that Apple is manufacturing big TV panels in Asia, that doesn’t sound like what Comcast is referring to above. More than likely, Comcast is referring to the plans Apple has to mature its current set-top box.
And if you pay attention to Apple at all, you know that of course the company is working on a new Apple TV. It’s like saying that there will be a new iPhone, or that the sun will rise tomorrow. Details remain scarce, however.
Rumors have indicated that the next Apple TV will focus heavily on gaming and possibly even third-party apps. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Apple was talking to Comcast about tying the Apple TV closer to a cable subscription. For instance, you might be able to log into your Comcast account using your Apple ID.
Expect a new Apple TV as soon as this month, although we likely won’t see anything new until WWDC in June.