A reference to new Apple TV hardware was spotted within a recent version of Apple’s iOS 7 software today, supporting rumors that the company is planning a new version of its set-top box in the near future. The new hardware mention, first discovered by 9to5mac, comes in the form of a reference within an Apple TV framework for the device’s AirPlay functionality. The reference was also added as far back as September, but only recently discovered.
We reported last fall that a revamped Apple TV set-top-box is in the works, and then we learned earlier this year that the new box would likely be introduced in the first half of 2014. Sources said at the time that the new model would be redesigned (at least on the inside) and would sport new content (perhaps a true App Store or gaming functionality). Since that time, sources indicated that internal prototypes for the new device include AirPort Express-like functionality, a form of enhanced iOS gaming integration, and a TV tuner component for connecting to existing cable setups.