updated 09:25 am EDT, Thu August 21, 2014
Empty stocks linked to $25 iTunes cards
The Apple TV is showing as "unavailable for pickup" at many Apple Stores across the US, including the most high-profile ones in California, Texas, and New York. The absent stocks are reportedly being blamed on the ongoing $25 iTunes card bundle. Sales may also be influenced by a recent Lollapalooza livestream, and Apple's forthcoming coverage of iTunes Festival London.
The current Apple TV hardware hasn't been updated in any major fashion since March 2012, when 1080p support was added - though Apple has steadily added channels, including a few exclusive ones, to its offerings. In the meantime, a number of serious -- and sometimes cheaper -- competitors have arrived on the market, such as the Chromecast, Roku 3, and Fire TV. Apple is believed to be working on a refresh, but it likely won't arrive until 2015.