Apple has confirmed previous reports that it has delayed the shipment date of the Apple TV.

The company declined to offer any details as to the cause of the delay. In a statement it said: "Wrapping up Apple TV is taking a few weeks longer than we projected, and we now expect to begin shipments mid-March." Company shares fell slightly in response to the news.

The £199 living-room solution for streaming iTunes content (music, podcasts, TV shows, movies and image libraries) from Macs or PCs to a television set was originally scheduled to ship this month.

When it does eventually ship, Apple TV is likely to generate market acceptance because of its simplicity of use, the 'plug-&-play' device has been described in some quarters as a realisation of the vision of converged entertainment systems.

Last week, Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitemore proposed that Apple could grab up to 30 per cent of the set-top box market with the device, adding a theoretical $7 billion to company revenue.

Apple TV offers USB2, Ethernet, HDMI, component video, optical audio and supports the 802.11b, g and n standards.