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Typically, the week before Apple’s big tech media circus event every September is where we start hearing intensified speculation for what will be announced. This year is no different — with a new rumor unearthed today that Apple will launch a new version of its Apple TV set-top box.

The company officially sent out invitations to its September 10 event yesterday. And while a new model iPhone — perhaps less expensive and a bit more colorful than its predecessors — is expected, the announcement of a next-gen Apple TV wouldn’t be unheard of. On average, Apple releases a new Apple TV model every 377 days, according to data collected by MacRumors. The current model is well overdue for an update, too, considering that it was released nearly 550 days ago. Also? Apple has been adding new content partners to its Apple TV platform like crazy over the past few months, and even dropped the price of refurbished Apple TVs to $75 (down from $100 for a brand new one.)

Beyond the numbers listed above, we really don’t have any confirmation about a new Apple TV. However, there are a few other pieces of information that may suggest it will happen. Trade intelligence platform Panjiva today obtained Apple shipping invoices that describe three different shipments of “Set Top Box with Communication Function” and “Set Top Boxes” over the last month. The shipments came from  BYD Precision Manufacture in Shenzhen, China — a manufacturing firm that may have replaced Hon Hai as one of Apple’s manufacturing partners, as GigaOM points out.

This doesn’t mean we’re definitely getting a new Apple TV, as the shipping invoices didn’t contain product size, weight, or other possibly telling details, as Panjiva indicates.

But regardless of if it’s a newer model Apple TV or not, I wouldn’t get too excited. While the majority of loyal Apple customers are looking forward to the company’s rumored television product (and/or service) that will revolutionize the TV industry, the company really hasn’t been moving very fast to keep up with competing set-top boxes until just recently. Apple CEO Tim Cook may have graduated from referring to the Apple TV as a “hobby” to a sleeper hit sales success  — Apple still hasn’t released a radically new TV-related gadget. That said, the next-gen Apple TV might not be a huge departure from the previous models.

Do you think Apple will release a new Apple TV Sept. 10? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.


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