Apple TV to Become the App-Filled iTV?

By  |  Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 2:52 pm

It looks like Apple’s trying to put down the legacy of Apple TV as the company tries a new push into the living room.

Engadget’s got some more rumors on the project, which will reportedly be dubbed iTV when it’s revealed this fall. We previously heard that Apple was slimming down the television set-top with iPhone-like specs, including an A4 processor and 16 GB of flash memory. Now, Josh Topolsky’s unnamed tipster says iTV will definitely support apps. Whether they’ll be iTV originals or iPhone/iPad converts is unknown.

Apps aside, the iTV will reportedly make use of new streaming media features in iTunes (maybe the same ones the Lala team is rumored to be working on). But Engadget says that after some infighting, Apple settled on 720p instead of 1080p, due to processor limitations.

I don’t think the apps or the resolution matter much. If the iTV is real, as Engadget describes it, the truly killer feature will be its $99 price tag. At that price, Apple could pitch iTV as a cheap and easy way to connect iTunes with a television, either by streaming or loading them onto the device. That was the original goal of Apple TV, but at $229, it’s harder to justify a bulky box with only one intended purpose. A $100 iPhone-size device is a different story altogether, and the presence of apps — a marketing hook that has worked well for Apple so far — would only sweeten the deal.

Would it be as deliberate an attempt at revolution as Google TV? No, but you can’t underestimate the power of iTunes, which by 2007 had more than 500 million users. ¬†If any meaningful percentage of those people use iTunes to download videos, iTV will be a hit, as long as it’s real.

 
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15 Comments For This Post

  1. kidTruant Says:

    Honestly, without 1080p, it's just another also-ran. If I want 720p downloads, I'll get them from my cable or satellite provider (heck, my cable provider offers 1080p HD movies). If the iTV (or whatever they name it) doesn't do full HD / DTS sound, I'll be skipping it as it won't offer enough of a product differentiation from my BluRay player, my XBox, my MacBook, etc.. (And I'm a certified Apple nut.)

  2. Benj Edwards Says:

    The iTV could end up being the beginning of Apple in the game console business without them even realizing it. A box that hooks up to the TV that plays games. Hmm…

    (P.S. Disregard the Pippin)

  3. Anonymous Says:

    How are they going to market this in Europe, where "ITV" is an established brand for a public service station?

    They might as well call it the cOmcast here.

  4. Ian Says:

    Lol, just can't see this taking off and the previous poster is correct – ITV is a UK based station !
    It is surely copyrighted right ?

  5. Hamranhansenhansen Says:

    What if you didn't have a cable or satellite provider, like most people in the world? Way, way more people have Wi-Fi than cable TV or satellite TV. Apple products are all global.

    There is a great TV experience on iPad with iTunes, Netflix, Hulu Plus, ABC, YouTube, and others. Putting that on a TV for $99 is very interesting to a lot of people. Forget the video for a second and consider the interactivity and smarts of an iPad compared to your cable box.

  6. Hamranhansenhansen Says:

    As long as ITV doesn't make consumer electronics gear, Apple may let them continue to use that name. :)

    Apple will pay them off as usual when someone is using a name that belongs to Steve.

  7. Hamranhansenhansen Says:

    > Would it be as deliberate an attempt at revolution as Google TV? No

    I think turning your TV channels into desktop class C apps and your cable/satellite/antenna into Wi-Fi and your dumb commercials into iAds is pretty revolutionary.

    Compare "ABC" on your TV to ABC.app on an iPad. Then imagine an app for every channel on your cable box, plus 1000 more that couldn't get on your cable system. And 1000 more next month.

    GoogleTV revolutionizes TV Guide. The TV experience on iPad is something much more interesting.

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    The iTV could end up being the beginning of Apple in the game console business without them even realizing it. A box that hooks up to the TV that plays games. Hmm…
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