Speculation grows over new Apple set-top box

Apple TVSpeculation is growing that Apple is planning to launch a new TV set-top box, after US cable operator Comcast made reference to the firm’s plans in a filing with the FCC.

Contained within a filing about its planned US$45 billion buyout of rival Time Warner Cable (TWC), Comcast discussed competition in the US market, including web-streaming devices like the recently launched Amazon Fire and Xbox One games console.

“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,” said Comcast.

The comments add to persistent rumours that Apple plans to refresh its Apple TV product, which the firm has previously referred to as a “hobby”.

A Wall Street Journal report from last month claimed that Apple was having early-stage discussions with Comcast about a deal that would allow Apple to launch a streaming TV service over Comcast’s cable network.

In February, Bloomberg reported that Apple was looking to secure video content rights from US cable operators for the launch of a new version of its Apple TV set-top box, which it said it planned to unveil in April and launch in time for Christmas.