New York Times: Apple Gearing Up to Take Apple TV to the Next Level

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The New York Times reports that Apple is preparing to launch a significant revamp of its television-related offerings, targeting at least a software overhaul for the company's Apple TV while an entirely new hardware product remains a possibility. According to the report's sources, Apple has recently hired a number of new user interface designers with backgrounds in television broadcast design as the company seeks to modify its iOS platform for use in the living room.

They said it was not clear whether the company would create an entirely new product as well as updating the software. They also said Apple might base a new television design on its iOS operating system, which is on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

Notably, one former Apple employee reported that much of the work has been taking place outside of the company's Apple TV group, suggesting that an entirely new hardware product might be in the works.

Just over a month ago, Engadget reported that Apple is preparing a dramatic overhaul of the Apple TV hardware, planning to offer a new device "based directly on the iPhone 4" with the capability for 1080p HD output and only limited onboard storage, as the device would primarily stream media from the Internet. The revamped Apple TV was also said to be set to carry a price tag of only $99.

On a separate note, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster today released a report continuing to beat his drum predicting a future Internet-connected television from Apple. He sees the inclusion of an HDMI port on the new Mac mini and the rumors of a revamped Apple TV set-top box as part of a progression that will lead to the launch of an actual Apple television with integrated iTunes/Internet access within two to four years.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Caution)

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