Rumours of the near-mythical "Apple TV" certainly had everyone spooked at this year's CES. The television, that is, not the Apple TV set top box, which apparently is fast running out of stock in the US, fuelling rumours that it's up for replacement -- or the chop. 9 To 5 Mac reports that there's yet more substance to speculation surrounding the Apple TV, as the iOS 5.1 Beta software contains references to a mysterious product, listed as J33, while at the same time US chain Best Buy is not only out of stock, but has indicated to 9 To 5 Mac that it's not expecting to get any of the current generation Apple TV boxes back in stock.
That could mean any of a couple of things; 9 To 5 Mac's source within Best Buy could well be off the mark, for a start. For what it's worth, Apple's Australian Web site still lists the current generation Apple TV as in stock.
It's not unheard of for Apple to quietly clear out the previous generation rather quickly when there's new products on the horizon, and the other possibility is that it won't replace Apple TV with a flat screen model, but instead yet another set top box. [9 To 5 Mac]