Could the new MacBook rumor, that everyone has been getting so worked up over, actually be about a completely different device? That's one theory: that Apple are preparing to make yet another assault on the living room in the shape of a new Apple TV. According to GigaOM, a new - probably PVR-equipped and media streaming - Apple TV would enable the company to push back against TiVo and Slingbox while further taking advantage of their iTunes distribution partnerships with major networks.
Apple has apparently asked retailers to destroy existing Apple TV literature and displays; that appears to be because of licencing issues for TV shows pictured in that literature (with the deals made for Financial Year '08 expiring and new materials for FY09 - which begins October 1st - being negotiated and produced), but it could also be a convenient opportunity to rework the hardware.
Apple TV has always been the "bit on the side" for the company, with Steve Jobs going so far as to describe the first generation device as "a mistake" on their part. The second version has remained in the shadow of the more attractive and headline-grabbing computing and cellphone ranges coming out of Apple, despite perhaps being one of the most obvious flagships for iTunes. Apple already have EPG patents (presumed for the iPod from the illustrations, but that really means nothing). So the question now is: is 'the brick' a new Apple TV device?