New AppleTV Soon?

There’s been a lot of talk about a new AppleTV (possibly re-named iTV) device rumored to be coming down the pipe from Apple.  While the excitement around any new Apple product release is understandable, many people are simply overlooking some very obvious issues in the purported feature set of the new device.

The Hype: Apple will release a redesigned and repurposed version of the AppleTV set-top box, called ‘iTV’. The device will run the Apple iOS software and be priced at $99.  The device will have no local storage to speak of, and will stream all content locally from other devices or over the Internet from iTunes.

Below are a few possible additions as well as a few features that probably won’t see the light of day anytime soon. Likely Additions…sometime soon.

1. More Flexible Purchases and Rentals – As reported by Bloomberg Apple is working to offer more flexible options for renting and purchasing content. This is simply an evolutionary step forward into the iTunes movie streaming service.  This will be a good addition for Apple and consumers.

2. AppleTV Media Server – Adding larger storage options to the AppleTV and allowing other devices (Macs, iPhones, iPads, other AppleTVs etc) to stream/sync from a central media library would make a lot of sense.  iTunes would automatically organize media you chose to share on the ‘always on’ AppleTV, giving the entire family access to the same content throughout the home on multiple devices. Just recently DirecTV started offering this type of flexibility with their ‘Whole-Home DVR’ service which provides access to recorded content on any receiver in your home.

Unlikely Additions…at least for now.

1. iTunes TV Subscriptions –  In the August 23rd article from the The New York Times “In the Living Room, Hooked on Pay TV” the author describes a number of reasons why ‘cord cutting’ wont’ be happening anytime soon.  Most of the reasons circling back potential lost revenue.  Content providers are far too accustomed to costumers paying $75-150 dollar cable bills to try and experiment with anything else.  They know the primary reason people have a desired to ‘cut their cable’ is not to gain access to better programming, but to save money. By keeping cable, DirecTV, Dish Network etc. the only game in town with access to the content people want to watch they ensure their revenue stream continues.

2. iOS & Netflix/Hulu Apps – The next AppleTV has been rumored to have a $99 price point.  At this price (the same price as the current 4GB iPod Shuffle) Apple would be heavily reliant on revenue coming from iTunes store sales.  Creating an environment in which companies such as Hulu and Netflix could offer content directly to consumers, thus circumventing the iTunes store, would be detrimental to that business model.  Don’t count on this happening.


Overall we’re excited about the idea of an updated AppleTV.  An updated model means more power, more features, and more opportunity to deliver great features consumers want.  Rest assured we’ll continue to develop for whatever the new AppleTV, iTV or whatever device Apple ends up releasing next.

Comments

I guess we'll see next Wednesday!

A lot of the rumors DO seem to be founded in total speculation. The description of this iTV device doesn't even really sound appealing...streaming (pay) only? No thanks.

I'm not sure how you'll be able to customize the OS like you can now. Will that be likely possible?

Also, no local storage sucks! My network is already swampted with streamed movies (netflix, Vudu, etc.) and music (Pandora, iTunes, etc.) and data. I'm considering buying an older AppleTV and adding the Broadcom chip to it before Apple ruins the iTV. Any thoughts? Agree? Disagree?

Without a hard drive the AppleTV doesn't make any sense. I don't want to pay per show to stream them from Apple.

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