Apple isn't just working on a subscription TV service, it's working on a whole new television set-top box platform.
Last week, it was reported by reputable sources that Apple was well into negotiations with television networks to launch an internet streaming television subscription service that would cost between $30 and $40 per month and include a number of popular networks like CBS, ABC, ESPN, and FX.
Now, a report from the always-reliable John Paczkowski says Apple is planning much more than just a streaming video service.
Writing for Buzzfeed, Paczkowski says Apple is planning to launch a brand new Apple TV box at WWDC in June, one that will include (finally!) an App Store that will see it competing with services from Roku, Amazon, and Google (with their Fire TV and Chromecast products), to the Sony PlayStation and Microsoft's Xbox.
"If I'm understanding the company's strategy correctly, the new Apple TV isn't just a play for a stake of the streaming TV market, but for the mythical digital living room. Think TV, music, apps and a little bit of home automation as well."
The new Apple TV box is said to be a huge upgrade to the current product, which is several years old at this point and just saw a price cut from $99 to $69. It is said to include the latest processors from the iPhone 6, plus big increases in on-board storage to host apps and other content, and it will also include Siri support of some sort.
It could act as a base of operations for Apple's HomeKit home automation play, talking to things like thermostats, ceiling fans, and garage door openers when no other Apple devices are active within the house.
It's likely that other Apple devices like the iPhone, iPad, and the new Apple Watch would interact with the Apple TV, acting as a remote control, a microphone for Siri, or more.
For businesses, a dramatic expansion of the Apple TV could empower conference rooms, command and operations centers, and more. Custom apps, so popular on the iPhone and iPad, could give executives an at-a-glance view of what their companies are up to in real time or allow for more advanced remote conferencing. Anything that one might want to move from a phone, iPad, or computer to a large screen could be on the table.
I'm always excited for new platforms, whether it's tablets, smartphones, wearables, or the television. The most revolutionary thing Apple has done in the past decade has been the various App Stores. I'm looking forward to seeing how developers manage the watch, and I'm really stoked to see what they have in mind for the TV. It's going to be a great year.