New Apple TV will have ARM processor, App Store access - report

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Like the iPhone 4 and iPad, the new Apple TV will run the iOS operating system and be powered by a processor with ARM architecture, and will also have access to the App Store, according to one prominent analyst.



Shaw Wu of Kaufman Bros. issued a note to investors Wednesday in which he revealed that sources indicated the "biggest potential change" to the forthcoming Apple TV refresh is the move to an ARM architecture processor running the same iOS software that powers the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. The current Apple TV hardware relies on an Intel x86-based chip, running a "light" version of Mac OS X and its Front Row software.



If the iPhone 4 and iPad are any indication, Apple is likely to employ its own custom A4 processor, or some variation of it. Apple began designing its own chips through the purchases of Intrinsity and PA Semi.



Wu also said that the new Apple TV, which some have said will be called the iTV, will have access to the App Store, Apple's digital software download storefront. Like the iPad, the new Apple TV could have access to the iPhone App Store, which offers about a quarter-million options for users, though such functionality is apparently not guaranteed.



"Our sources indicate there is some debate within Apple whether to allow this or not, or to have it run only Apple TV-specific apps," Wu said. "We believe the ability to run the same apps makes a lot of sense and believe this feature could be enough to drive significantly more volume for Apple TV. We find the potential to run video game apps on a TV set most intriguing, as it has been proven in the marketplace that there is (a) large market for casual gaming at inexpensive prices."



Wu did not indicate, however, how iPhone or iPad applications would run on a TV set, as those that rely on the touchscreen interface require users to interact with the images on screen. But games that rely on the accelerometer in Apple's mobile devices would likely be suited for the allegedly forthcoming set top box.



As for reports that Apple is negotiating with networks to offer 99 cent TV show rentals (reaffirmed this week by The New York Times), Wu said such an offering would benefit not only the Apple TV, but the company's entire ecosystem, including the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac lineup.



"From our checks with supply chain and industry sources, we believe potential changes could turn Apple TV into a bigger hobby and a multi-million unit seller," the analyst wrote. "And perhaps be a precursor to a bigger effort to address the home entertainment space down the road."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 98
    Will apps be able to be written to be cross platform compatible with iTV? Might be tough with all the different resolutions





    iPhone 4 - 960x640

    iPhone 3g/Touch - 480x320

    iPad - 1024x768



    TV - 1280x720 or 1920x1080
  • Reply 2 of 98
    -ag--ag- Posts: 123member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Wu did not indicate, however, how iPhone or iPad applications would run on a TV set, as those that rely on the touchscreen interface require users to interact with the images on screen. But games that rely on the accelerometer in Apple's mobile devices would likely be suited for the allegedly forthcoming set top box.



    Dont know about the accelerometer but the touch side of things would be covered by the new magic touchpad thing they recently released.



    As for resolution im guessing that it will be similar to when you hook up a macbook or iphone to a TV. The resolution on the TV will change to suit. But im thinking that we wont see 1080 but some form of upscaled 720p.



    So basically i can see it working but will it be enough to get the 1080p purists to agree that it is a good buy is another argument all together.
  • Reply 3 of 98
    iguesssoiguessso Posts: 132member
    I think this is right.



    Biggest news: iOS

    Next Biggest: FaceTime?

    Next: Aggregate streaming like PlaysOn or Boxee

    Least: 99 cent TV shows



    Base model with a cheap remote for iTV specific apps. Add on a Magic Trackpad or i-Device for full iOS compatibility.



    iTunes TV needs a few years to become viable if ever.
  • Reply 4 of 98
    A subscription option is a must. I don't think a majority of people are hip to renting a show for .99. This can get really expensive, really quick and I don't believe the people that are saying that this is cheaper than, or about the same price as, cable. If my kid watches two hours of tv a day, with her 30min shows, thats 4 shows for 30 days which is 4*30=120 *.99=$118.80, now tell me who pays this to their cable company for 60 hrs of tv a month?
  • Reply 5 of 98
    As long as it does not require periodic reboot/re-powering to make it work again. After three years of use I noticed that this piece of hardware needs acting like with PC and crashing Microsoft Windows on it.



    No it is not my network or ISP. I have carefully tested piece by piece nailling root cause at Apple TV exclusively. I run enough hardware in my network to have many reference points to judge which one is suspect.



    Also it looks like the current hardware needs better cooling so, setting it above flat surface (e.g. on some attached rubber posts) and turning it off from time to time fixes some problems. Also running it in 720p instead of 1080p seems to resolve some hickups when playing content.





    Apple should really focus on quality of this device, because interface is not that bad. Apart of the store they could bring some plugin interface, but if not then few of us might hack it and start using XBMC or similar solution.
  • Reply 6 of 98
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,591member
    I guess that means my current Apple TV is not going to get the update. What a total bummer.
  • Reply 7 of 98
    herbapouherbapou Posts: 2,221member
    I wonder if Apple is ever going to be able to annonced something that didnt leak all over the net before the event.
  • Reply 8 of 98
    herbapouherbapou Posts: 2,221member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vanliered View Post


    A subscription option is a must. I don't think a majority of people are hip to renting a show for .99. This can get really expensive, really quick and I don't believe the people that are saying that this is cheaper than, or about the same price as, cable. If my kid watches two hours of tv a day, with her 30min shows, thats 4 shows for 30 days which is 4*30=120 *.99=$118.80, now tell me who pays this to their cable company for 60 hrs of tv a month?



    Pay per view, even cheap, is never going to be for big consumer. But lots of people dont watch that much TV and maybe they will suprise us with per network subcriptions, but if they do that Cable co and going to scream.
  • Reply 9 of 98
    -ag--ag- Posts: 123member
    If nothing else lets at least hope that we can playback other formats unlike the current AppleTV.



    .mkv etc.



    But im guessing that would be more likely an iTunes update before device update.
  • Reply 10 of 98
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    I think there are enough rumours to say that this release is most likely imminent, and it looks like my idea of an iOS-based TV is finally coming to a head despite 2 years of people telling me how it’s stupid to use iOS since there is no touchscreen.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PatsFan83 View Post


    Will apps be able to be written to be cross platform compatible with iTV? Might be tough with all the different resolutions





    iPhone 4 - 960x640

    iPhone 3g/Touch - 480x320

    iPad - 1024x768



    TV - 1280x720 or 1920x1080



    Note that we have to look much farther than resolution here. The display size and the input methods are important. For these reasons I don’ think we’ll see a straight iPhone or iPad app put on the AppleTV. Just look at how poor iPhone apps look on the iPad. How many iPhone or iPad apps are used only in landscape mode and have no on-screen touch elements? None.



    The Magic Trackpad doesn’t resolve this issue as it’s still not a direct input to what’s on the screen. I doubt user’s are going to want to see a white dot representing their finger tips on the screen when using this trackpad whilst on their couch. We’re talking about adding a mouse pointer to an OS that so far has never had one. I just don’t see it.



    I do see an TV SDK, App Store and Universal apps. I also see clever developers making “family” and “internet” apps that use the TV’s larger monitor to connect all your iDevices.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aplnub View Post


    I guess that means my current Apple TV is not going to get the update. What a total bummer.



    It has been going for 3.5 years now on the same HW and has had 3 rich updates (though I absolutely hated the Take 2 UI so I we can discount that one if you like). I’d say the best we can expect are some minor tweaks and final bug updates. I can’t see anyone else supporting such old equipment for that long.
  • Reply 11 of 98
    str1f3str1f3 Posts: 573member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vanliered View Post


    A subscription option is a must. I don't think a majority of people are hip to renting a show for .99. This can get really expensive, really quick and I don't believe the people that are saying that this is cheaper than, or about the same price as, cable. If my kid watches two hours of tv a day, with her 30min shows, thats 4 shows for 30 days which is 4*30=120 *.99=$118.80, now tell me who pays this to their cable company for 60 hrs of tv a month?



    Apple failed at getting their own subscription service which was the perfect solution. My guess is that content owners will offer their app for free and you sign up for a subscription independent of iTunes with DVR functionality.



    You're right in thinking the $.99 price point is too expensive. An active bachelor can by with it but the price skyrockets with a family.
  • Reply 12 of 98
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by -AG- View Post


    If nothing else lets at least hope that we can playback other formats unlike the current AppleTV.



    .mkv etc.



    But im guessing that would be more likely an iTunes update before device update.



    Who uses the MKV container? I tend to see it used with ripped Blu-rays, which still use H.264/AAC codecs. I really can?t think of a single reason why Apple would include this container, but many as to why they wouldn?t.
  • Reply 13 of 98
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,309member
    Shaw Wu is full of it.
  • Reply 14 of 98
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    Shaw Wu is full of it.



    I agree, but I also think he?s not incorrect about the upcoming TV, which is likely him just riding the coattails of other analysts. There is just too much circumstantial evidence for me to ignore.
  • Reply 15 of 98
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,860member
    I agree with others if you have kids or frequent users this will be a flop. Especially if there is little room to store those vids that get played over and over again.



    Marginal internal storage would leave you screwed fo the storage of games and other apps. Assuming you are purchasing and not renting the apps you woukd want them to be around for awhile. Given my memory usage on iPhone they are really going to need a hardisk. In a nut shell it doesn.'t take long at all to use up you flash.



    Maybe they have plans to lick the storage problem in another manner. That can't be the cloud though, the bandwidth isn't there for some of us.



    I'd like to see Apple TV succeed but I've yet to see an indication that Apple has a clue. Such a device needs to be marketed like a DVD player / gaming console. In any event the $99.00 rumor seems to indicate to me to little hardware to really impress people.





    Dave
  • Reply 16 of 98
    herbapouherbapou Posts: 2,221member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Who uses the MKV container? I tend to see it used with ripped Blu-rays, which still use H.264/AAC codecs. I really can’t think of a single reason why Apple would include this container, but many as to why they wouldn’t.



    imo .m4v is better has it can hold metadata information. Once I get the metadata info with "identify" I just drag the .m4v in Itunes and I instantly see it on my AppleTV, complete with dvd covert, title, description, ...



    And .mkv is the torrent HD standard, no company are going to support that while engage is studios negociations. Its the other way around, they are trying to secured content not allow easy torrent playback.



    If AppleTv gets huge, youre going to see a shift in torrent containers from mkv to m4v. But if prices are cheap enough, imo lots of people wont bother with torrents and just buy because its hassel free. This is pretty much what happen with music.
  • Reply 17 of 98
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Who uses the MKV container? I tend to see it used with ripped Blu-rays, which still use H.264/AAC codecs. I really can’t think of a single reason why Apple would include this container, but many as to why they wouldn’t.



    Exactly. Apple keeps the formats narrow so that the dozens of ptions for containers don't become a root for updates....keep it simple, go get handbrake (it's free) and rip to that format. It sucks to have to re-rip but that's the trade off for apps and the integration Apple pushes.
  • Reply 18 of 98
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    I agree with others if you have kids or frequent users this will be a flop. Especially if there is little room to store those vids that get played over and over again.



    Marginal internal storage would leave you screwed fo the storage of games and other apps. Assuming you are purchasing and not renting the apps you woukd want them to be around for awhile. Given my memory usage on iPhone they are really going to need a hardisk. In a nut shell it doesn.'t take long at all to use up you flash.



    Maybe they have plans to lick the storage problem in another manner. That can't be the cloud though, the bandwidth isn't there for some of us.



    I'd like to see Apple TV succeed but I've yet to see an indication that Apple has a clue. Such a device needs to be marketed like a DVD player / gaming console. In any event the $99.00 rumor seems to indicate to me to little hardware to really impress people.





    Dave



    Even at 2GB of NAND there is enough for the OS and apps. I have 2.34GB of apps, but TomTom is taking up over half of that. While app makers, especially game makers, will use the extra screen real estate for making more visually elaborate games I don?t think it will be much of an issue.



    But we have to remember this would be a stationary device on a LAN, connected to a machine with an iTunes Library and the internet. It?s possible to implement a background swap method that would move apps on and off the TV as needed. The device has a list of approved apps to be playable via the device, but then only keeps what it can, rotating as needed. While I don?t see Apple going this route as it adds an extra level of complexity it is technically possible.



    All video and audio would be streamed from the LAN or Internet so there is no need for local storage. Personally, I don?t think this ?$99? TV is a win by itself. I think it?s best regulated to the many other TVs people tend to have in their home. Right now, we tend to have one large TV with our best equipment tied to it. The other TVs typically get analog cable or a cable box.



    What if Apple made two TVs. One with 1080p in a box the size of the Mac Mini (maybe with a 1/2TB HDD) but still using ARM and iOS, and they also offered a simple, cheap TV that only does 720p and can only stream so you can connect all the other TVs in your home without having to buy an expensive device with redundant storage for each one? That is the setup I?d like to see? along with an ARM/IOS-based Apple Home Server.
  • Reply 19 of 98
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    I agree with others if you have kids or frequent users this will be a flop. Especially if there is little room to store those vids that get played over and over again.



    Marginal internal storage would leave you screwed fo the storage of games and other apps. Assuming you are purchasing and not renting the apps you woukd want them to be around for awhile. Given my memory usage on iPhone they are really going to need a hardisk. In a nut shell it doesn.'t take long at all to use up you flash.



    Maybe they have plans to lick the storage problem in another manner. That can't be the cloud though, the bandwidth isn't there for some of us.



    I'd like to see Apple TV succeed but I've yet to see an indication that Apple has a clue. Such a device needs to be marketed like a DVD player / gaming console. In any event the $99.00 rumor seems to indicate to me to little hardware to really impress people.





    Dave



    I can see them pushing out the $99 option and then convincing people to either 1) buy a time capsule or 2) push the HDs from the Apple store which I'm sure have a pretty decent profit margin if you want the HD space.



    Really the only issue I have with all of this is that nearly every single game isn't going to work for anything on this. The point of most games is to have the user looking at the screen and pressing the virtual buttons. Now some games like racing and, if you play enough, Real Soccer or Monkey Ball would be just fine as you just need to see the visual output not necessarily the virtual buttons but most of them are going to have you staring at your iPhone/iPod/iPad rather than watching the screen - unless of course you just want others to watch you play...



    Speaking of which, if they put a good enough ARM in this thing I can see multi-player racing games being fun. I mean, who doesn't have more than 1 iPhone/iPod Touch laying around? (most people but who is actually going to buy the iTV that doesn't have at least 2 of these). Ideally the app would serve out the UI to the devices so you don't have to have the app on all of them just the iTV interfacing app or maybe make the interfacing app free and pay for the iTV app. Hmm...
  • Reply 20 of 98
    If the Netflix app from the iPad run on Apple TV then it's game over for Cable TV as far as I'm concerned.
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