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It was reported last week, by AppleInsider and the guys over at Cult of Mac, that the Apple CEO Tim Cook was spotted at Valve’s headquarters located in Bellevue, Washington. You may recognize Valve for their gaming platform Steam, and their work in creating games such as Half-Life, Team Fortress and the wildly successful Portal.
It is far too easy, and fun, to begin speculating at what this could mean. We all know that Tim Cook doesn’t spend his time visiting companies like this for no reason. So what could it mean? For me, it seems like a perfect fit. Get involved with a company to that already has a digital gaming platform integrated for mac, PC and platform games alike.
Looks like Apple has temporarily turned on streaming of purchased TV shows on the Apple TV for customers in the UK, Canada and Australia on Wednesday. Users from these countries have been able to purchase the episodes directly on Apple TV 2 and stream it to the device. These were actual purchases, not rentals, and cost between free and $2.49 in Canada and about $2.99 AUD in Australia. According to GigaOM, only Aardman Studios, A&E, History Channel, PBS, PBS Kids, Vivendi Entertainment and Viz Media appear to have made their content available as of yet.
Back in October, 9to5Mac found an evidence for a next-generation Apple TV being in the works – a reference to ‘Apple TV 3,1’ (current model is listed as 2,1) inside the iOS 5 file system. The number changing from 2 to 3 should signify a major upgrade. 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman believed the device would get a dual-core A5 processor (that would open door to true 1080p) and a bluetooth support.
This Monday Gurman found that a new codename – J33 – has been assigned to Apple TV in iOS 5.1. According to Gurman, iOS release history tells us that Apple assigns a proper codename to products that move closer to release.
Both Amazon and Best Buy are now selling the Apple TV 2 for $89, $10 lower than the original price. Amazon also added “2010” label next to the product name, suggesting there will be 2011 or 2012 model coming soon. When? According to AppleInsider, the price drop doesn’t suggest an imminent release of an updated model “as it is likely too late in the holiday season for Apple to launch a new product. The last time the company released new hardware in November was the Core 2 Duo MacBook in 2006.” However, TechCrunch’s Matt Burns believes that the new Apple TV may be released in the coming days: “The holiday spending spree is in full effect and Apple isn’t one to ignore shopping trends. If it’s not out soon, the next version probably wouldn’t be released until 2012,” he says.
Speaking at a breakfast hosted by The Wall Street Journal, Sony CEO Howard Stringer said the company is working on a “different type of TV” to re-energize the television market. Hi didn’t give any details on what Sony is developing but said “there’s a tremendous amount of R&D going into a different kind of TV set”. Stringer also said that he has “no doubt” that Steve Jobs was developing an Apple TV set. “That’s what we’re all looking for”, he noted.