Apple TV seems to be disappearing from store shelves and online retailers.

Apple TV is a set-top device that channels content from iTunes, Netflix, YouTube, and a variety of other streaming services, onto a TV set. It was available at retailers through the 2011 holidays.

AppleInsider appears to be the first to have noticed that, at many stores, it’s not available anymore. They are reporting (and we have confirmed) that the Apple TV set-top-box is no longer offered on BestBuy.com. AppleInsider also contacted a salesperson at Best Buy who told them “…it doesn’t look like we’ll be getting [the Apple TV] back.”

Apple-TVCP searched a variety of major online retailers as well, and could only find new Apple TV’s available at one of them: Apple itself. Though we did also find some, at rather inflated prices, through third party sellers on eBay. Amazon and eBay both have used Apple TV devices in their listings as well.

The disappearance of the Apple TV from store shelves and online retailers begs the question, what is Apple doing?

There have been lots of rumors lately about a new Apple product being launched during the first week of March. It’s been assumed the launch would involve the next generation iPad. Various leaks that have been reported would tend to confirm that.

There have also been rumors and leaks that indicate a big screen Apple HDTV (as opposed to a set-top box) is in the works. Best Buy recently ran a survey asking shoppers to rate their interest in a 42 inch, $1499, iOS Apple HDTV.

Any suggestions on the timeframe for an actual HDTV from Apple point toward the end of 2012 at the soonest. While an Apple HDTV launch during the first week of this March would be unexpected and exciting, it seems unlikely. But if not, why are Apple TV set-top-boxes not being stocked. Would apple come up with a next-gen set-top-box when a full on Apple HDTV may be out by the end of the year?

Apple, as usual, has been mum on all this. So we will just have to wait and see what happens.