As rumors of a big upgrade to Apple TV continue to swirl, 9to5Mac has noticed that Apple has added a section dedicated to the device in its online store. Previously hidden within the iPod department, Apple TV now occupies a spot at the top of the store’s homepage, next to the Mac, iPad, iPhone and iPod.
In addition to the dedicated section, Apple has added an accessories page for Apple TV as well, where you’ll find cables, a remote, Airport routers, speakers and a mount for the box itself. That’s pretty extensive for what Apple has long referred to as a “hobby.” Apple has also added Community Q&A, AppleCare and a refurbished product listing to round out the page.
This could just be a way for Apple to sell of stock of its current Apple TV box. Or it could be that the company is gearing up for a major product refresh. In addition to the news reported last week, 9to5Mac has heard that Apple is considering combining the Apple TV and AirPort Express devices. This would mean an Apple TV with a built-in 802.11ac wireless router. And come to think of it, both products already look almost exactly the same, as you can see below:
Apple might also be testing a version of the Apple TV that closely integrates with a cable box. This would allow the device to control your existing cable box with an Apple interface on top, much like Google did with Google TV. In addition to the gaming capabilities and app store rumored last week, these changes could definitely help take Apple TV out of the hobby realm and into the mainstream.