Mark Gurman for 9to5Mac:
We’re told that Apple has considered combining the Apple TV and AirPort Express products. Versions of the new Apple TV in testing are said to include an integrated 802.11ac wireless router…
…Lastly, Apple has been testing versions of the Apple TV with a built-in TV tuner component so it has the ability to control your existing cable boxes/TV stations much like the since canceled Google TV. It’s likely that a user will be able to connect their existing set-up to this Apple TV and get an Apple-designed user-interface atop their content. link
For the conspiracy minded, “news” like this coincides auspiciously with Apple TV’s seeming new prominence in the online Apple Store which literally got its own section overnight (whereas it had previously been buried underneath a pile of accessories).
Still the reality is that like all Apple rumors, this one’s bound to have an element of truth to it, because Apple likely has a hundred different Frankenstein’d Apple TV’s in R&D doing all kinds of thing that we may or may not ever see in the light of day. Built-in AirPort would be a devilish way to pull customers in and a built-in tuner would allow Apple to overlay the iTunes ecosystem over TV content, but still more important is this sentiment:
As I said before, throw everything in the iPhone 5s into an Apple TV, add a controller and super-tempting $199 price tag and you’ve got “instabuy”.