It's been more than three years since the last truly significant update to the Apple TV, and a new version has been long-rumoured and recently reported to appear at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference next week. But those plans may be scuttled.
The New York Times reports that Apple has changed its mind about revealing the new Apple TV at this point, deeming it "not ready to be demonstrated, according to people briefed on the device."
Part of the issue may be that Apple's also-long-rumoured streaming TV service - which would be a perfect complement for the new box, both for Apple and potentially users in the ecosystem - isn't quite ready to launch. We've heard that before, and the report says that Apple is still "far from reaching deals" with content partners.
Still, if it's true that the new Apple TV won't be shown next week, that's a big surprise and change from what we've heard from months. In fact, the teaser graphic for WWDC seems to have the Apple TV right at the center of the image, which seemed to imply that it would be a focus of the keynote. Reports claimed the new box would have the App Store and Siri built in, greatly expanding its capabilities.
It's entirely possible that Apple could debut the idea of developing TV apps and games without actually showing the box, saving that reveal for a joint debut with the TV service later this year. At this point, it's all speculation - and again, many previous reports said that Apple TV was a lock for WWDC, so if the Times' report is true, it's a late call from Apple.
The company is expected to premiere its streaming music service (evolved from Beats Music) next week, as well as iOS 9, Mac OS X 10.11, and better Apple Watch development tools. In other words, losing one announcement probably isn't the end of the world for the company.