Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Set-Top Upgrade: When Apple (AAPL) releases its next generation media streaming device, it may feature a radical redesign, transforming Apple TV into an entertainment center, 9to5Mac notes. Apple is reportedly contemplating the addition of TV tuner technology into the next Apple TV, which would allow the set-top box to connect to existing cable boxes, permitting users to view and switch cable channels through Apple TV. If true, the next Apple TV will add an Apple interface over cable TV streams. Apple may also integrate its Airport Express into a new Apple TV. That would allow the set-top box to double as an Internet router. The inclusion of these features is not set in stone and may not appear in any upcoming hardware refresh for the Apple TV. Recent rumors have also suggested that the next Apple TV could including gaming functionality. This week, Apple gave Apple TV its own exclusive page on its online store, suggesting that a product update may be coming soon.
Payment Partnership: PayPal, eBay’s (EBAY) online payment processor, wants to team with Apple to create a mobile payment system, Re/code notes. Sources say that PayPal has proposed taking over the “white label parts” of an Apple mobile payments system. That would mean that PayPal would handle backend processes, including payment processing and security measures. Recent reports suggest that Apple is contemplating a mobile payment system based around its iTunes media service, which already handles payments for app, music, video and ebook purchases. Sources told Re/code that Apple was “unlikely” to accept PayPal’s proposal and would prefer to manage the rollout of a payment system on its own. Apple’s flagship iPhone 5s, introduced in September, includes a TouchID fingerprint scanner that many analysts see as a critical security measure to protect an eventual mobile payment system.
Maybe Not the End?: Despite growing speculation that Apple may be on the verge of killing its iconic iPod digital music player, there is some evidence that the product line might not be finished just yet, 9to5Mac notes. Apple has posted job advertisements looking for personnel to oversee the launch of a new iPod product, possibly in the second half of 2014. Still, it isn’t looking good for the iPod. During the December quarter, iPod sales plunged 52% year-over-year, totaling just 6 million units, the Telegraph notes. Revenue from iPod sales dropped 55%, compared to the prior year. Apple excluded any mention of the iPod from the press release announcing the quarterly results, which included record sales for its iPhone, iPad and Mac product lines. CEO Tim Cook said that Apple has “known for some time that iPod is a declining business” during a conference call with analysts to review the quarterly numbers. Apple hasn’t released an update iPod in more than a year.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.