No Apple (AAPL) HDTV at Next Week's iPad Event, But Something Else Might Pop Up...

February 29, 2012 12:32 PM EST
At Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) event next Wednesday, you are likely to see the next-generation iPad unveilied. What you're not likely to see is Apple's new TV...but you might see something different.

Despite earlier rumors calling for the unveiling of an HDTV, chatter Wednesday speculates that Apple is going in a slightly different direction. According to AppleInsider, the media and tech giant supposedly slowed payments to vendors and all but halted shipments of its current AppleTV set-top-box (STB). The device has also been tough to find at retailers like Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) and (Nasdaq: AMZN), though the device is still available for purchase on Apple's own website.

The signs point to a new STB from Apple. Even better is that the new STB should be more integrated with the next-gen iPad, making it perfect for a co-debut with the new tablet. Not much is (surprisingly) known about the new STB, though its expected to share similar components to the next iPad. Some have also speculated it will include an enhanced version of the A5 CPU, lovingly dubbed "A5X."

With Apple not expected to enter the full-fledged connected-TV market until 2013, there is still plenty of time for sales of the new Apple TV STB. Maybe it will have similar features to the real Apple HDTV in preparation of the eventual launch. With the last update to Apple TV done in late 2010, the A4 processor it currently runs on its a little outdated and a refresh to the OS is always helpful.

Finally, the invitation for Apple's March 7th event even reads: "...something you really have to see. And touch." So something related to further TV integration must be happening, right?

Shares of Apple are up about 1.5 percent on the session.

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