Apple no longer supplying "black boxes" to US retailers, checks indicate
Major US retailers are running dry on Apple TV stock and their internal product ordering systems are unable to yield new units, according to a person within Best Buy. All this while strange code references are emerging in the latest iOS 5.1 beta, hinting at a potential new Apple TV product.At this point there’s little doubt Apple won’t release a new television product this year.
There have been many indications that this is the case and, most recently, new code designations inside Apple’s iOS 5.1 beta suggest the product is real.
In light of this discovery, the following tidbit arrived from a Best Buy source close to 9to5mac.com:
“A customer was inquiring tonight about Apple TV. However right now we are out of stock (Which hasn’t happened since I started). Not only were we out of stock, but I was also unable to order one from our product ordering system (OMS). Product was listed as ‘currently unavailable’. From prior experience, this usually is associated with a product that is being ‘discontinued’.”
Checks with various other retailers, including Buy.com, Target, Walmart and Ratio Shack, yielded similar results - no more Apple TVs available for ordering.
Radio Shack in particular reportedly still has some units available in stores. MacMall and MacConnection still sell the black box too.
Granted, Apple's online store still lists the device as "in stock."
The Cupertino, California giant is widely expected to announce a special event in the coming weeks. Most analysts have their money on an iPad 3 announcement, but would it be too far fetched to expect a one-more-thing consisting of Apple TV 3.0?
We wouldn’t rule it out. In fact, an Apple TV announcement could replace the rumored iPad 3 launch altogether. This wouldn’t be the first time pundits got it wrong.
If we’re to trust that All Things D report saying Apple has an event planned in the first week of March, it shouldn’t be long before we find out what the Cupertino giant has in store for us.