New cloud-based Apple TV to cost $99, run on iPhone OS 4

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Alleged details on a forthcoming update to the Apple TV set top box were revealed on Friday, with the device reportedly based on iPhone OS 4, powered by Apple's custom-built A4 processor, and offering 1080P cloud-based streaming content -- all starting at just $99.



Engadget editor Joshua Topolsky said the information came from a tip and was confirmed by a source "very close to Apple." The new hardware will reportedly have just 16GB of storage, but will be capable of full 1080P HD video.



"Not only will this be priced to sell (like hotcakes), it seems that Apple is moving away from the model of local storage and will be focusing the new ATV on cloud-based storage (not unlike Amazon's streaming scheme, though we're talking instant-on 1080P, a la Microsoft)," the report said. "For those still interested in keeping their content close, there will be an option to utilize a Time Capsule as an external storage component, but the main course will be about streaming."



The new hardware, said to be small with only a power plug and video out, was described as "an iPhone without a screen." Sources could not say whether or not the new hardware would be compatible with software from the App Store, though Topolsky noted "it makes sense given the shared platform."



Engadget reported that Apple will not announce the new hardware at the forthcoming Worldwide Developers Conference, but the development is currently "full steam ahead."



The project has allegedly been in development since long before the Google TV was introduced last week. Google's offering will run on the Android operating system, and will be integrated in set top boxes as well as on HDTV hardware itself from major manufacturers. Google TV, which will run applications from the Android Market and stream Internet video, is scheduled to be released this fall.



Currently, the Apple TV costs $229 and comes with 160GB of storage. Last September, Apple discontinued the low-end 40GB Apple TV.



The set top box software was updated last October to Apple TV 3.0. The update added a redesigned main menu that aimed to make navigating content simpler and faster. It also allowed useres to watch iTunes Extras and iTunes LP content in full screen on their TV.



However, the software update failed to boost sales for the device, and Apple executives maintained their position that the Apple TV is simply a "hobby" for the Cupertino, Calif., company. In February, Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook said the set top box market does not compare with the other categories in which Apple competes, particularly media players, smartphones and computers.



Engadget's rumors would suggest that Apple would continue to sell the product as a set top box, while Google TV will be integrated with some HDTVs starting this fall. But analyst Gene Munster with Piper Jaffray has long believed that Apple could release its own connected HDTV, with Apple TV functionality built in to the device, in the next 2 to 4 years.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 257
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,142member
    So no OS update to existing hardware possible ??



    I know, it isn't powerful enough but what about a dumbed down 720P version of the OS?



    Other than that I hope it is all true, this will add even more to AAPL I am sure.
  • Reply 2 of 257
    Sold! As I predicted the only way to improve ATV is through iOS. Another AppStore ecosystem for developers to thrive on. Expect console gaming. I've been wanting to replace my cable TV but I decided to wait updates for ATV. $99 for a device is cheap. I'm 100% this won't come with bluray drive.
  • Reply 3 of 257
    shogunshogun Posts: 360member
    How fast would my home Internet need to be to download 1080p?



    I was at blockbuster yesterday. Found myself thinking that if I never walked into the store again I'd be fine with that. And I don't want to buy a BR player. Give me 1080 streaming and I'm yours.
  • Reply 4 of 257
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,105member
    Hell it's about time!! I've been waiting for a hardware refresh for around 14 months, I can finally buy one without worrying it'll become obsolete the second I buy it, as soon as I can preorder I will, I've wanted an appletv for ages.
  • Reply 5 of 257
    oc4theooc4theo Posts: 294member
    Another product in the pipeline. Apple should just stick this inside an Aluminum 30" - 40" screen, then we will have a real AppleTV.



    No more set top box. Give us a real TV. I gave my Sony TV away, because I have been waiting for an AppleTV.
  • Reply 6 of 257
    I pretty much care less about Time Capsule. Just let it use storage on my LAN. Cloud is nice, but not vital to me. And yes streaming is the key - not syncing content to some small storage on the device. That's what I have been using on Apple TV for last years. Syncing is not allowed with my environoment.



    Now with this please provide some inexpensive Apple protocol streaming server. How about making Airport Extreme Apple video/audio streaming capable? No? Then I will still keep my Asus nettop with Windows on it and iTunes streaming my movies and music to my network of Mac's and AppleTV. Sorry... more business to PC if you cannot beat the price. Mac Mini costs too much and it is overkill for streaming to Apple TV even HD content - nettop or netbook is enough and we are not talking about HD video decoding in this case. Solution proven and used for over a year now. Smooth.
  • Reply 7 of 257
    applestudapplestud Posts: 367member
    Nasty. I'm sold.
  • Reply 8 of 257
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,142member
    The price is entirely possible given 3Gs will be $97 at Walmart soon if I remember correctly.
  • Reply 9 of 257
    djintxdjintx Posts: 454member
    Well this could be very good news, if it is done right. Obviously we won't know for awhile what the final product will be. If $99 turns out to be true, then that is a great start. I am also excited that it appears Apple is finally ready to take this out of Hobby status and going forward with the complete reconstructive surgery method to fix the ATV.



    Although, if it turns out to basically do the same things as it did (extend iTunes to the TV) and then only adds true HD quality streaming for iTunes rentals and purchases, I don't think I will be interested. I need a bit more than this. Apps are ok, and actually I might grow to like apps on the ATV, but I need more substance. I can do without DVR capabilities, but I need it to be able to connect to services online besides iTunes. I want to be able to stream from other good sources online, and I want it to have a fully featured Safari.



    I don't care or need it to be as small as an iPhone. In fact if it is as big as a Mac Mini, that is fine, but I want the feature set to be greatly enhanced.
  • Reply 10 of 257
    ghostface147ghostface147 Posts: 1,629member
    I'll be sold, pending details. So far it sounds good.
  • Reply 11 of 257
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,570member
    Looks like Eric Schmidt made off with yet another Apple idea during his tenure on the board. Not surprising given Google's approach to all IP but its own.
  • Reply 12 of 257
    jpcgjpcg Posts: 114member
    Sounds cool, hope it will be able to play high profile h.264 though. That would be great!



    That makes me think that maybe Hulu will present their app at WWDC
  • Reply 13 of 257
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by OC4Theo View Post


    Another product in the pipeline. Apple should just stick this inside an Aluminum 30" - 40" screen, then we will have a real AppleTV.



    No more set top box. Give us a real TV. I gave my Sony TV away, because I have been waiting for an AppleTV.



    I do not agree. I do not care about TV set released by Apple. I want to pick one. Tuner (set top box) should be outside.



    This is the same reason I do not use laptops at home. I do not plan on crooked fingers and too little screen (causing strain on eyes) that you get with that supposedly "convenient" computer. Prefer mac Mini and large screen that is out of proportion to full sized keyboard. It would not be practical to make it portable.





    Portable should be small and practical and special use at ceratin environments. So do not tell 30-40 inch with built-in propraietary format set top box and no alternative. I want over 13-50 inch depending on situation. I can only agree for intergrated "Apple content tuner" if it comes with small portable TV's.





    Also I pretty much do not care if Apple or not as far as media playing so I would not prefer paying for Apple specific encoding and standards. I bet many would not. Just try to sell such specialized TV and see whether people would go for it with its increased pprice (AppleTV ain't free)... or perhaps for Sony, Samsung, Panasonic or others who have more expertise in TV area and are cheaper, but can work with external set top boxes. This is not the same as computer monitor which when made by Apple is extraordinary quality.
  • Reply 14 of 257
    If it's for reals I'm game for checking it out.
  • Reply 15 of 257
    orlandoorlando Posts: 601member
    As long as you can also stream movies from a local computer running iTunes like the current AppleTV can then this sounds exactly the product Apple needs to release.



    The next question is input devices. Standard remotes (eg the Apple remote) are lousy for for Apps and web surfing. GoogleTV failed to solve this problem simply going with a pointing device + keyboard. Can Apple provide a better solution? (preferably not requiring that everyone also owns an iPod touch / iPhone).
  • Reply 16 of 257
    phone-ui-guyphone-ui-guy Posts: 1,018member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    The price is entirely possible given 3Gs will be $97 at Walmart soon if I remember correctly.



    Just keep in mind that would be a subsidized price with a two year contract.



    $99 isn't out of the realm of possibility... Dropping the A4 into a pin package that is cheaper to mount for non-mobile devices, dropping the battery/touchscreen/mic/camera/speakers/etc... Basically just an A4, flash, power conversion, DisplayPort, and Wifi.... Hmmmm. They probably don't even need to include IR and a remote... You can just load a remote app on your iPod/iPhone/iPad.



    Ok, sign me up. Well, put a HD camera back in for video conferencing...
  • Reply 17 of 257
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Shogun View Post


    How fast would my home Internet need to be to download 1080p?



    I was at blockbuster yesterday. Found myself thinking that if I never walked into the store again I'd be fine with that. And I don't want to buy a BR player. Give me 1080 streaming and I'm yours.



    Not sure of the exact numbers, as far as internet speeds go for downloading 1080p content....but since it would be streamed, it would just take longer to start playing if your on slower connections. Like when using Netflix...it calculates your download speed and sets the buffer and video quality based off of that. I would imagine the Apple TV would do that also. Hopefully, if your bandwidth isn't sufficient for 1080p, it would fall back to 720p, then standard def after that, based on the quality and speed of your connection...



    At $99, I would be finally interested in Apple TV...Let's hope that part is true!
  • Reply 18 of 257
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JustReelFilms View Post


    Sold! As I predicted the only way to improve ATV is through iOS. Another AppStore ecosystem for developers to thrive on. Expect console gaming. I've been wanting to replace my cable TV but I decided to wait updates for ATV. $99 for a device is cheap. I'm 100% this won't come with bluray drive.



    Not neccessarily OS makes difference, but it could mean that all deficiences are solved by the better OS. ATV can offer much more in area of user interaction and media management.



    I can give one fundamental example: Why do I need to pair some streaming device with Apple TV to play my private content on network drive that does not have anything to do with iTunes store purchases? For this I prefer solution like on XBMC - just grab the file from network. If not then provide me with cheap network streaming device (new Airport Extereme feature?). I do not need to keep my computer(s) on just to watch my own media on ATV... or synch more movies than ATV has storage. How about that?
  • Reply 19 of 257
    onhkaonhka Posts: 1,025member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by maciekskontakt View Post


    I pretty much care less about Time Capsule. Just let it use storage on my LAN. Cloud is nice, but not vital to me. And yes streaming is the key - not syncing content to some small storage on the device. That's what I have been using on Apple TV for last years. Syncing is not allowed with my environoment.



    Now with this please provide some inexpensive Apple protocol streaming server. How about making Airport Extreme Apple video/audio streaming capable? No? Then I will still keep my Asus nettop with Windows on it and iTunes streaming my movies and music to my network of Mac's and AppleTV. Sorry... more business to PC if you cannot beat the price. Mac Mini costs too much and it is overkill for streaming to Apple TV even HD content - nettop or netbook is enough and we are not talking about HD video decoding in this case. Solution proven and used for over a year now. Smooth.



    Comparing it to your posting at the 2 months ago, i.e.,

    Quote:

    Hence, I am currently serious about getting one of Asus AspireRevo PC's and building XMBC or Boxee center which was already proven concept (I did it personally with some old PC and Linux based software).



  • Reply 20 of 257
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    I don't know about the "cloud" part, but it seems like they could save money, drop the price and make a better product of they dropped internal storage, relying on the storage of local computers.
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