Apple Unveils New 80% Smaller Apple TV for just $99
As rumored, Apple today unveiled the latest Apple TV at a breakthrough new price of just $99. The new device is designed to radically simplify the digital media experience by removing the internal hard-drive and moving entirely to streaming content from Apple or your computer. The change in format has also allowed Apple to make the device 80% smaller; with a new form factor of 3.9” x 3.9” by .9” thick. As with all of Apple’s latest mobile offerings, the Apple TV has moved to the A4 processor found in the iPad and iPhone 4 (and just released iPod Touch). As rumored the new device also includes live streaming from Netflix, Youtube, MobileMe and Flickr, through native apps.
One expected new feature is the ability to use an iPhone or iPod touch as a remote control, using Apple’s free Remote app. Apple has pre-announced one new feature for the iOS 4.2 update that will allow the iPad to stream video content directly to a network connected Apple TV. This feature, however, will not be available until the launch of iOS 4.2 for iPad sometime in November 2010.
As originally rumored, the new Apple TV also retains the maximum output resolution of 720p, and appears to be running the iOS software. While the device boasts of several new features it also poses some new limitations. The newest offering loses some key features like component output and a built-in hard drive. This will be a disadvantage to end-users who have slow or outdated networks, as all content needs to stream in real-time over the wired/wireless network. This will also require networked computers to be turned on and awake for streaming to function over the network.
Apple has drastically reduced the price-points on some content, and is shifting to a rental-only model for television shows and Hollywood movies. Not all TV networks are participating in the new pricing model, initially only Fox and ABC are offering TV rentals at $.99. First run HD movies are priced at $4.99 the same day as DVD rentals, and older titles reducing to $3.99.
The Apple TV ships in late September, and is available for pre-order today at the Apple Online Store.
Apple TV (at Apple.com)