NYT: Redesigned Apple TV interface, possible new hardware in the works

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Citing several people familiar with Apple's television-related efforts, The New York Times on Friday reported that Apple plans to redesign the interface for its Apple TV, and is also considering an entrance into the HDTV market.



Author Nick Bilton on the Times' Bits blog said it is not clear whether a new hardware product would accompany the software redesign, but it is believed Apple could base the software on its lightweight iOS operating system, which powers the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Citing one source, it was said that Apple recently hired several user interface and graphic designers who have a background in broadcast design for television.



"Another person, who recently left Apple and was involved with the company's television group, said some of the more advanced work on the next version of the TV is not taking place within the Apple TV group, but within another design group in the company -- this could signal an entirely new product," Bilton wrote.



Rumors of new living room hardware arrived just as analyst Gene Munster with Piper Jaffray issued a note to investors in which he said the addition of an HDMI port to the Mac mini suggests that Apple is interested in selling its own Internet-connected HDTV. Munster believes such a product could hit the market within 2 to 4 years.



The sources told the Times that Apple realizes "the battle for the living room is going to be arduous, and the company must get it right the next time."



Apple has famously said that its Apple TV product is simply a hobby, as there isn't a viable market for set top boxes. Last month, Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs said the market doesn't exist because cable companies subsidize set top boxes for prices so low that consumers are unwilling to pay for a separate one.



The prospect of a redesigned, low-cost, iOS powered Apple TV was first rumored in May, when a report from Engadget alleged that Apple will release hardware based on its custom A4 processor found within the iPhone 4 and iPad. That device would reportedly have just 16GB of storage, but would cost only $99 and be capable of playing and streaming 1080p high definition video.



That rumor suggested the new hardware would be small, with only a power plug and video out. It was described as "an iPhone without a screen."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 74
    lilgto64lilgto64 Posts: 1,147member
    Quote:

    which he said the addition of an HDMI port to the Mac mini suggests that Apple is interested in selling its own Internet-connected HDTV



    Why would adding an HDMI port indicate a future plan to sell internet connected TVs?



    Does including a power cord indicate that Apple is planning to sell electrical outlets? or high power transmission lines?



    There have already been discussions of how this would be a bad fit for Apple. Better to sell a really cool, high powered, high profit margin device to connect to any commodity TV that to get into that commodity market. Not sure Apple would do this but better would be a partnership with LG or Sharp etc to provide the integrated AppleTV device and leave the building, marketing, warehousing, etc of the 302" Megaphallix TV to others.
  • Reply 2 of 74
    8corewhore8corewhore Posts: 833member
    I'm read.
  • Reply 3 of 74
    oflifeoflife Posts: 120member
    Of course, curling up with a beer and snacks in front of the big screen is still the best way to enjoy a good movie (except for the cinema), but with Apple's own products now allowing movies and other content to be viewed anywhere, is the living room going to slowly become a thing of the past?



    Just as the mobile phone has relegated 'home' and 'office' to anywhere you want it to be, will networked content do the same for the living room?



    Discuss in less than 500 pages.
  • Reply 4 of 74
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,109member
    Agree that it's too much of a logical leap taken by the author here.
  • Reply 5 of 74
    paulmjohnsonpaulmjohnson Posts: 1,380member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post


    Why would adding an HDMI port indicate a future plan to sell internet connected TVs?



    Does including a power cord indicate that Apple is planning to sell electrical outlets? or high power transmission lines?



    I can't wait for my Apple HV transmission line!



    I take this article with something of a pinch of salt though I'd love it to be true. Everything Jobs said at All Things D with regard the problems with improving TV interfaces were true, and any change will depend on them overcoming cable providers giving away set top boxes.



    However, I could see that being possible. I know everyone thinks AT&T are a joke, but they took a big risk with the iPhone and it has paid off in terms of increased number of subscribers. You wonder if one of the TV companies might see it as worth taking a similar punt on subsidizing an Apple branded TV in order to increase subscribers.



    At the moment, I stick with Comcast because I really don't see enough differentiation between the providers to make a change worthwhile. If say, DirecTV offered an Apple branded TV, with an improved "Apple style" interface, I would quite possibly switch.
  • Reply 6 of 74
    kotatsukotatsu Posts: 1,010member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Oflife View Post


    Of course, curling up with a beer and snacks in front of the big screen is still the best way to enjoy a good movie (except for the cinema), but with Apple's own products now allowing movies and other content to be viewed anywhere, is the living room going to slowly become a thing of the past?



    Just as the mobile phone has relegated 'home' and 'office' to anywhere you want it to be, will networked content do the same for the living room?



    Discuss in less than 500 pages.



    Call it what you will, I'm not watching movies on anything less than a 50" screen with a great 5.1 audio set-up and a big, comfy sofa.



    As for a new ATV, yes please.
  • Reply 7 of 74
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,595member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post


    Call it what you will, I'm not watching movies on anything less than a 50" screen with a great 5.1 audio set-up and a big, comfy sofa.



    4th generation iPad?
  • Reply 8 of 74
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,228member
    Apple buys a network or two as part of the plan? ... just kidding.
  • Reply 9 of 74
    oflifeoflife Posts: 120member
    Agreed, I was just being philosophical



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post


    Call it what you will, I'm not watching movies on anything less than a 50" screen with a great 5.1 audio set-up and a big, comfy sofa.



    As for a new ATV, yes please.



  • Reply 10 of 74
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,157member
  • Reply 11 of 74
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    Heh heh. This is from yesterday: http://forums.appleinsider.com/showt...86#post1666486





    Box of Hero biscuits has been shipped......
  • Reply 12 of 74
    I've been a big fan of AppleTV and have owned one for years now. Just having the internet radio for music and playing all my photos in a slide show with the Ken Burns effect on my 50" flat screen TV is worth the price of admission.



    It is really impressive when friends come over.



    To me it has revolutionized how I view my photos and listen to music. Not to mention getting rid of all my stereo components and the attendant wires, pwr bricks and clutter!



    I used to order movies on AppleTV, but now have a redbox across the street and a free 6mo movie channels and a cox cable DVR (free) so I just record movies and shows.



    Mostly have cable for TigerGolf and Formula One. Cannot watch TV with stupid, inane commercials anymore! Agghhhhh



    Best
  • Reply 13 of 74
    replicantreplicant Posts: 121member
    If Apple is serious about making a play for the living room then they should think about gaming. I don't see Apple challenging Microsoft or Sony for the throne. Heck, they could port iOS games if they wanted to and use iPhones as controllers.
  • Reply 14 of 74
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post


    Why would adding an HDMI port indicate a future plan to sell internet connected TVs?



    Does including a power cord indicate that Apple is planning to sell electrical outlets? or high power transmission lines?



    There have already been discussions of how this would be a bad fit for Apple. Better to sell a really cool, high powered, high profit margin device to connect to any commodity TV that to get into that commodity market. Not sure Apple would do this but better would be a partnership with LG or Sharp etc to provide the integrated AppleTV device and leave the building, marketing, warehousing, etc of the 302" Megaphallix TV to others.



    Well put.

    Monitors (or as the pundits seem to be implying, 'TVs') are a commodity item. Low margins, high warehousing costs. In addition, they are not 'one size fits all', the way peripherals are. Where is Apple going to display the variety of monitors necessary to serve the wide variety of needs out there? Scrap and rebuild ALL of the Apple Stores?



    Come one... this is what Best Buy is for.
  • Reply 15 of 74
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post


    Why would adding an HDMI port indicate a future plan to sell internet connected TVs?



    Does including a power cord indicate that Apple is planning to sell electrical outlets? or high power transmission lines?



    Awesome analogy!
  • Reply 16 of 74
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    My prediction...
    • The current TV only gets a bug fix, at most.

    • The next TV runs iOS and ARM, but will push 1080p.

    • An TV iOS SDK and App Store will not appear at the start, even though I think it's an ideal way to usurp all the other media extender appliances on the market. (no, not iPhone or iPad apps).

  • Reply 17 of 74
    Quote:

    Munster believes such a product could hit the market within 2 to 4 years.



    That wouldn't be Herman by any chance?
  • Reply 18 of 74
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post


    Does including a power cord indicate that Apple is planning to sell electrical outlets?



    Urgghh!! You just reminded me what i hate about my ATV. The power cord. Hopefully we'll get a simple on/off switch on the next revision.
  • Reply 19 of 74
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    My prediction...
    • The next TV runs iOS and ARM, but will push 1080p.




    Now that makes my mouth water.
  • Reply 20 of 74
    jcsegenmdjcsegenmd Posts: 105member
    SJ said something about having a great lineup of new products



    since the displays haven't been updated in nearly 2 years, I'm betting that they won't be updated, but rather morph into 3D HDTV and high-quality speakers with screen sizes starting at 30 and have the box incorporated, which goes along with SJ's loathing of extra cables



    It could be interesting
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