Apple TV has been around since about four years before Google dominated tech headlines last month with the Google TV demo at Google I/O. The enthusiastic response to the Google TV demo apparently was a wake-up call for an Apple TV update. Barely a week after Google TV was announced, rumors about a new and improved Apple TV are flying in Silicon Valley. Apple’s renewed initiative for Apple TV sets the scene for a high stakes battle between technological superpowers for future control of a $150-billion dollar advertising market.
The Apple TV update
The Apple TV update had been in development long before Google TV made its splash. The technology blog engadget.com reports that it received a tip confirmed by a “source very close to Apple” that the Apple TV update will be based directly on the Apple iPhone 4 operating system and be capable of full 1080p HD. The Apple TV device has been described as an ultra simplified, streamlined Apple iPhone without a screen and with just a power socket and video out. The most compelling feature of the Apple TV update may be that consumers won’t need emergency loans to jump on the bandwagon: its rumored price tag is $99. The current version of Apple TV is based on the Apple OS and costs $230.
Apple TV vs. Google TV
Apple TV is entering a high stakes game with Google. The Los Angeles Times reports that the winner will take the lead in a historical transformation of technology. Nearly 40 percent of consumers said they wanted to connect their computers to their televisions to watch online video, according to a recent survey by Frank N. Magid Associates. The Times quotes Jim Lanzone, chief executive of Clicker.com, as saying:
“A generation from now, people simply won’t believe how limited the world of linear programming was, the same way people under 30 today can’t relate to 12 channels and a knob.”
Apple TV goes to the cloud
Apple TV’s new set-top box may have much of the functionality found on the Apple iPhone. Inside, it’s got the A4 processor that powers its computers, along with 16GB of flash storage. Engadget says there will be a Time Capsule option for external storage, but the main purpose of Apple TV is all about streaming. Apple is moving away from local storage to focus the new Apple TV on cloud-based storage. Engadget said there was no information on whether the new device would support Apple’s App Store and apps, but given the runaway success of both, that feature could be assumed.
Apple TV: high expectations
Apple TV today is a little box that allows users to buy or rent HD movies and stream iTunes content through their set top boxes. Unlike the Apple iPhone and the iPad, most people don’t know it exists. Crienglish.com reports that the seamless integration of the Web and TV has eluded Apple and Microsoft for some time now, but Google TV and the overwhelming power of Google over the Internet has gotten everyone’s attention. Google TV will enable users to quickly pull up Web content on their TVs, including photos, video and music, using an on-screen search box like the one on Google’s website. Now the ball is in Apple’s court. The public is eager to see what Apple, a company that defines the state-of-the-art user experience, will come up with.