Apple Creating iPhone-sized Upgrade to Apple TV
Apple TV has long been the strange and ignored step-uncle of the Apple electronics lineup, a product that seemed good enough on paper but never really caught on. All that may be set to change, though, with news that Apple is working on a major overhaul of Apple TV.
With the increasing popularity of streaming shows and movies instead of renting DVDs or actually sitting on the couch during an episode's scheduled airtime (how old-fashioned!), it should come as no surprise that Apple wants to breathe new life into Apple TV. It's the same reason Google just announced Google TV .
The news comes from several sources for Engadget, an electronics site. According to these sources, the Apple TV overhaul has been in the works for quite some time and will be based on the hardware for the upcoming iPhone 4G . It was described as "an iPhone without a screen." Inside it will have the same A4 processor as the iPhone, but only 16GB of flash storage.
This makes sense for Apple because they can use many of the same components and manufacturing processes for two different devices. It's also part of the reason the updated Apple TV will be much cheaper than other Apple offerings. The new Apple TV will only be $99 at retail.
This small device will be capable of playing 1080p resolution high definition content. If it sounds like 16GB isn't much room for 1080p video, you'd be right. Apple plans to focus on cloud-based storage for the device, meaning user content is stored on distant servers and streamed to the Apple TV device. If users want to use their own external storage, Apple TV will connect to an Apple Time Capsule.
One of the most exciting things about the new Apple TV device is that it will use the iPhone operating system. While Engadget sources did not confirm this, it opens up the possibility to display iPhone apps on a TV. That alone would open up significant new functionality for a simple TV and would be an interesting new opportunity for app developers.
Aside from that, Apple TV will still function similarly to previous models. It will connect to standard TVs and deliver digital content from the iTunes Store, Web sites such as YouTube and user videos.
Apple apparently won't be unveiling the new Apple TV at the upcoming WWDC event. Apple plans to reserve WWDC for announcement of the iPhone 4G .