Is Apple preparing a counter-attack to Google’s TV move?
Apple is keen on describing its Apple TV business as a “hobby.”
But one week after Google barged into the living room with its high-profile Google TV announcement, Apple suddenly looks like it’s taking its hobby a lot more seriously.
According to technology blog engadget, which cites an anonymous source “very close to Apple,” the Cupertino, California company has a new version of its Apple TV in the works that completely overhauls the original product.
The price of the Apple TV will drop from $229 to $99 (read: priced to move), and the device will be based on the iPhone operating system and pack Apple’s home-grown A4 processor under the hood.
Also of note, the new Apple TV will offer a modest 16GB of on-board flash memory for storage (the current model offers a hard drive with ten times the capacity) – that suggests that Apple is recasting the product as a cloud-based service, in which entertainment and content comes primarily from the Internet.
That would be more along the lines of Google TV, which is based on Google’s Android software and allows TV viewers to quickly pull up videos, photos, music and other content from the Web through an on-screen searchbox. Google also hopes to get software developers to create brand new applications specially designed for the new generation of Internet-connected TVs.
Endgadget says there is no word on whether the new Apple TV will be compatible with the massive library of apps that already exists for the iPhone smartphone. But it’s a smart bet that part of the reason Apple is moving to the iPhone OS is for precisely that reason.
The blog also notes that Apple’s new project was in development well before last week’s Google TV announcement. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the new Apple TV predates the reports of Google’s interest in television, which was telegraphed through numerous press leaks during the one year period that Google began to seriously develop the product.
Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs is not expected to talk about the new TV product at its worldwide developer conference on June 7, when the star of the show should be the newest version of the iPhone.
But Jobs is also scheduled to speak at the All Things D conference next week. Perhaps he’ll drop some info about the future of his television hobby….