Lots of rumours this week about an upcoming Apple TV reintroduction.

The partnering with major cable players makes sense to me, that is just the iPhone playbook all over again — pick off one carrier, create a great experience with them, help them gain share, and then the rest of the providers will crack. I’d think that Apple would go after the satellite guys first as a solution with them could be marketed and sold nationally, tho of course the internet side of a satellite solution kind of blows. But whatever, Apple will certainly try to work the iPhone playbook again.

On the device side, maybe Apple will roll out a super-TV with iOS embedded in it, but I kind of wonder about this. Apple is already a central part of my TV experience — I sit on the couch with my iPad and use it to fill voids or augment what I am seeing. And the iPad is the best remote control for a Tivo or Comcast box — just install the respective apps, way easier to navigate the guide. So I kind of wonder why Apple just doesn’t hollow out the TV and STB — let them stay as dumb tuners and a display surface, but all the app smarts migrate to the iPad and the cloud. This is basically what has happened to in-car electronics — nav systems and fancy cd players have been replaced by the phone. I’m not convinced jamming iOS and apps into the TV or STB makes for a better experience — my new TVs have all kinds of internet and streaming junk jammed into them and I never use.

I wonder if the upcoming iPad 3.0 will have more features for augmenting TV viewing. Seems like it should.