There's a lot of stuff brewing over at Apple HQ right now, and the company has to turn its attention away from something. Apparently, at least for now, that something is the Apple TV set-top box. Apple Insider reports that the company has not been completely fulfilling channel partner orders for the device for the last three weeks.
This would help explain why Best Buy suddenly stopped selling the Apple TV altogether earlier this month, and also bolster rumors that the company may be planning on discontinuing the product altogether.
There are of course two major reasons why the Apple TV should probably be pushed aside. First is the iPad 3, which is set to be unveiled on March 7 and may offer some of the same functionality that the Apple TV currently offers.
Second, it's widely believed Apple will be stepping into the market of actual television sets, which would make a set-top box virtually irrelevant for the company. It would rather sell you an entire TV than a device that plugs into someone else's TV.
In addition, the Apple TV hasn't really had a great history. The first iteration of it was a complete flop but then the company tweaked it and made it available for just $99, which increased consumer interest but the market for set-top boxes was already dwindling.
Now, consumers want all that functionality built into the TV itself. The idea of a TV set having its own operating system would have sounded a bit ludicrous just a few years ago, but now it's expected. Something like the Apple TV doesn't have room in this kind of environment.