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.
This week in “Apple TV News from the Web”:
1. Steve and the TV puzzle
2. Apple is already building prototype TV sets
3. The Apple iTV gets mocked up
4. Hulu Plus coming to Apple TV
5. Apple TV and Siri
It wasn’t too long ago when we heard from Steve that he had NO IDEA on how to succeed in the television market. Any chance it has just changed? Apple’s special event is set for September 1st and what the world expects to be unveiled in San Francisco that day is an updated, upgraded, renamed, rebuilt, rethought, revamped, refreshed or completely new, long-romored, long-awaited, magic, revolutionary, shiny — Ladies and Gentleman — the new Apple TV. Well, maybe not the whole world, there are those skeptics who ask if Apple is really going to announce a TV gadget at an event with a guitar on the invitation. Pessimists aside, now, when everyone on this planet seems to have its own opinion on what is going to happen on Wednesday and when every little website in the cyberspace has its own rumor on the next Apple’s TV device, let’s sum up the most important ones. Here is a comprehensive list of what has been lately said about the new Apple TV.
- Engadget: new Apple TV called iTV: $99, A4 CPU, iOS, 16GB of flash storage, cloud-based storage, new iTunes streaming services, AppStore, no 1080p, quite small device with a scarce amount of ports (only the power socket and video out), “an iPhone without a screen”
- DigiTimes: “Apple is set to launch a new Apple TV using AMD’s Fusion solution and will not include a hard drive. The new device will adopt a user interface similar to the iPhone with support for social networking websites, network multimedia and the App Store.
- Kevin Rose: “From what I hear we should expect to see the iTV launch in September”
- Jason D. O’Grady on ZDNet: “iTV would no longer be a hard drive based setop box, but rather a live streaming device. Think of it as a combo iPad docking station and Airport Express with an HDMI port out the back.”
- AppleInsider via Shaw Wu of Kaufman Bros.: “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 new Apple TV will have access to the App Store.”
- Gene Munster: Apple could offer an $1,800 to $2,000 “all-in-one Apple television solution that would replace the current amalgam of set-top boxes, Blu-ray players, PVRs, cables, game consoles and TVs in a typical home.
- Bloomberg: “Steve Jobs will rather focus on the ability for customers to watch TV shows and movies on their iPads, iPhones, and iPod Touches, says a person familiar with the plan. The company will announce that customers can rent many TV shows for 99 cents.”