If sources who spoke with Bloomberg News are correct, a new Apple TV could be "introduced" as early as April. Apple is currently in talks with Time Warner Cable, among other programming partners, to add video content to the set-top box before releasing the next version.
The third-generation Apple TV came out just over a year ago, and while it's received software updates, both the design and selection of content haven't changed much since the original launched in 2007. Bloomberg's sources echo earlier rumors, saying the next-gen model could include a reworked interface that allows for easier navigation between different types of content. Naturally, there will also be a faster processor in Cupertino's fourth set-top box. Just don't get too set on that spring timeframe; though Apple may unveil the new product in April, sources say the release would coincide with the holiday season, depending on the company's progress in securing partnerships with TWC and others.
Update: Wherever Time Warner Cable may have been headed in talks with Apple, word of a pending acquisition by fellow cabler Comcast certainly seems to complicate things. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal chimes in with its own set of anonymous sources, talking about how Apple has refocused its TV efforts to work with TV providers, rather than trying to replace them. Specifically, it claims Apple is asking for access to the five most recently-aired episodes of shows, possibly with fast-forward disabled to prevent ad skipping for three days after they air.