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Apple TV taken off store shelves; refresh coming soon?

Earlier this week, the Apple TV was sold out across many Web sites. Now, it's not even available on many shopping sites or stores.

Will there be a new Apple TV launching soon?
Will there be a new Apple TV launching soon?

If you're looking to buy an Apple TV, you're going to have an exceedingly difficult time doing so.

As of this writing, and don't even list the Apple TV on their sites, and Amazon has stopped selling it. Apple's online store is the only major e-commerce Web site CNET has come across that lists the Apple TV, and actually has the set-top box in stock.

AppleInsider, which first reported on the news, says it's a similar story in many brick-and-mortar stores around the country, with one Best Buy sales representative telling the blog that "it doesn't look like we'll be getting [the Apple TV] back."

So, what's going on? All signs point to an Apple TV refresh.

In many cases, Apple allows the stock of its products to deplete before it launches new versions. The company hasn't launched a new Apple TV since September 2010, and with more sophisticated set-top boxes on store shelves, the timing seems right for Apple to deliver a new version.

Rumors of a new Apple TV launching soon arose earlier this week when retailers showed the device as "out of stock" on their Web sites. At that time, several blogs were reporting that the new device could launch with iOS 5 and 1080p support, as well as applications.

CNET's Matthew Moskovciak earlier this week offered up a list of things he'd like to see come to the Apple TV. Among them: Siri voice control and search, applications, and games. We might find out soon if he gets his wish.

An Apple representative declined comment, saying the company does not respond to rumors or speculation.

Updated at 10:45 a.m. PT with response from Apple.