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Apple TV expected to get revamped remote control

The new model of the set-top streaming box will sport a remote control that includes a touch pad, an Apple source tells The New York Times.

A new remote control for Apple TV? Donald Bell/CNET

A long-awaited update Apple is said to have in the works for Apple TV will also reportedly include a revamped remote control.

A new model of the set-top streaming box due later this year will come with a new remote that will feature a touch pad for navigating the interface, an unidentified Apple employee told The New York Times. The new remote will also include two physical buttons -- like the current model -- and be slightly thicker than the current model, the Times' source said.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The debut of a new remote would complement a slew of Apple TV announcements Apple is expected to make at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June. In addition to introducing a new Apple TV streaming box, Apple is expected to unveil a software development kit that will allow developers to bring apps to the set-top box, Buzzfeed reported in March. The update would deliver an App Store to the Apple TV, similar to the App Store on iOS devices like the iPhone and the iPad .

A touch pad would be a significant addition to Apple TV's remote control, which has gone largely unchanged as the streaming box has changed in recent years. Unveiled in 2007, the original device was designed to bring iTunes content to a customer's television and was followed by subsequent versions that stripped away the need for onboard storage and focused solely on streaming content to the television.

Apple hasn't updated its streaming device since 2012, but at an event in March, the company announced it had reduced the price of the Apple TV to $69 from its previous $99 price tag. Apple also touted that it has sold 25 million Apple TV units since the product's inception in 2007.

Apple is also said to be working with television networks to launch a service later this year that would let users stream programming from a range of providers, including ABC, CBS and Fox. The service would be available on Apple's iOS devices and the Apple TV. (Disclosure: CBS is the parent company of CNET.)

Apple has hinted for quite some time that it's working on a more complete, over-the-top video streaming service. However, there have been no signs such a product is close to ready, which largely has been attributed to difficulties securing content deals at reasonable rates.