New Apple TV Launching Alongside iPad 3?

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Early this afternoon we brought you news that Apple had begun sending out invitations to the launch event for the iPad 3. The event will take place on March 7th in San Francisco. Of course, scarcely is one rumor put to bed than another rears its head. Now it looks like Apple may actually be launching two new products next Wednesday: the iPad 3, and the third-generation Apple TV.

Citing “reliable sources familiar with Apple’s upcoming product release,” 9to5Mac is reporting that Apple will be launching a new Apple TV at the iPad 3 event also. The current generation Apple TV was released in 2010, the same year as the original iPad, and rumors have been circulating lately that an update for the device Steve Jobs once described as Apple’s “hobby” would be coming soon. Those rumors got a big boost recently when the Apple TV started disappearing from retailers like Best Buy and Amazon.

Details about the features of the Apple TV are few and far between. It is widely expected to have 1080p HD output, and will likely run on the dual-core A5X processor that has been getting so much attention in relation to the iPad 3. Other rumors include Siri functionality and Bluetooth capability. While the rumor mill has made little mention of the Apple TV finally getting access to the App Store, that seems like a pretty good possibility.

If Apple does plan to unveil a new Apple TV next week, one wonders what that means for the recent spate of rumors concerning the iTV. Rumored release dates for Apple’s hypothetical HDTV have been all over the map, but it seems likely that a new Apple TV in March would push any iTV launch into the late third or fourth quarter of 2012, if not all the way to 2013.

At any rate, with the big event just a week away, all (well, most) of our questions will be answered soon enough. In the meantime, check back for any new information about Apple’s upcoming products.

Does the prospect of a new Apple TV excite you? Will you buy one? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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