We were not convinced of all the Apple TV rumors. We knew it was coming, but very obviously not in the way that the much hyped rumors about Apple TV said it would revolutionize the way we watch our shows and movies.
Instead Apple have kept the Apple TV as a hobby. But made it one quarter of its original size, and stuck an Apple A4 chip inside. Yes, the same chip as you have inside your iPhone 4. So it is, to some degree, now an iOS based device.
Apple also made the new Apple TV black (always a good move), and blindingly simple to use with a cosmetically revamped remote. Most of the simplification is in the user interface on the Apple TV itself where there are some tiny signs of iOS bits and bobs floating around. Most notably little dots with numbers in them to tell you how many episodes of your favourite drama you have available to watch.
There was also a half hearted introduction of some price point changes for shows and movies. And the rumored 99 cents to rent TV shows is now a reality. Even that is not enough to make some take the plunge though and Apple realize that.
Steve was upfront about it too, and said that only Fox and ABC had committed as TV content providers at the moment. But he expected more in future. I think he is right. In many ways the Apple TV is where the original iPod and iTunes were when they first impacted the music industry.
Apple, rightly see this as an important market place to cultivate as it is surely a tech battleground coming to all of our living rooms in the near future.
So Apple also dropped the price of the Apple TV to $99. At that price my first reaction was that the Apple TV is now less money to buy than an AirPort Express was a few years ago. And that entire device’s functionality is just one of the bullet point features of the Apple TV with its new AirPlay capability.
The new Apple TV is said to be available next month. And I might just pick one up at that price. Along with my “iWatch” (iPod Nano!)
Current models of Apple TV will continue to be supported, but will not get the new functionality of this latest Apple TV. Not surprising as they now run very different operating systems. Obviously that is something Apple could relatively easily address. But that is very unlikely given their past form on supporting anything they consider to be a legacy device. And boy don’t devices get old quickly these days!
Are you tempted by the new Apple TV? Or are you already an Apple TV addict? Have your say in the comments…