According to PhoneNews, Apple has instructed licensed retailers to put their old iPhone/iPod touch A/V cords on clearance. Why? There's a new cord coming that supports HD output for AppleTV-like functions.

The new Apple AV Cable is said to resemble the Xbox 360 Component AV Cable. Basically, it uses six RCA connectors that can transmit either SD or HD content, depending on your configuration.

PhoneNews also claims to have confirmed the (pretty obvious) reasoning for this new cable to be wide HD video support on the iPhone and iPod touch, with the platforms supporting 720p and 1080i output (including a new iPod or iPhone model with an unspecified higher rez screen). But instead of just playing back video stored on the handsets, the platforms will be able to stream HD video over Wi-Fi/Bonjour to your television, making AppleTV a bit obsolete.

Since we already know that the current iPhone plays back HD video just fine, Apple's transition to HD output is less a question of if than when. We'll have to wait and see if PhoneNews has the story right. [PhoneNews via CrunchGear]