It might not be the “iTV” everyone is waiting for, but Apple seemingly has plans to launch an updated version of its Apple TV sometime in the near future. According to a report from global trade specialist Panjiva, Apple has provided the U.S. Department of Homeland Security with three bills of lading for product shipments from China that were labeled as either “Set Top Boxes” and “Set Top Box with Communication Function.” The shipments came from BYD Precision Manufacture in Shenzhen, China, which is a known Apple supplier. Apple’s press conference on September 10th will focus on its new iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, of course, but it looks like a refreshed Apple TV will share the stage with those two headliners next week.
It’s not a rumor, but a fact that Apple is looking at bringing a game-changing TV experience out of Cupertino. We just don’t know when or how. Or do we? Generally when the Apple TV is discussed, it takes the form of either the current Apple TV, which is a set-top box, or an Apple-branded high-definition television set. I am still not convinced Apple will make its own television, though it’s certainly possible. However, a company that prides itself on the end experience would face many obstacles with a 46-inch or even larger TV. More →
It’s not quite the “Apple TV” news the world has been waiting for, but current Apple TV owners on Tuesday found themselves with a variety of fresh new content to stream to their televisions via Apple’s set-top box. As 9to5Mac reports, several new apps hit Apple TV as part of an over-the-air (OTA) update on Tuesday, including the Disney Channel and music video giant Vevo. Also included in Apple’s new update are a Weather Channel app, a Smithsonian app and a Disney XD app. As noted by AllThingsD’s Peter Kafka, The Weather Channel’s app provides on-demand content but it will also stream live Weather Channel reports during big storms.
Apple is close to a deal with Time Warner Cable to give subscribers access to television content on Apple TV devices, Bloomberg reports. Both companies are said to interested in a deal, which could potentially be announced within the next few months. Apple has also poached a senior vice president from Hulu, Pete Distad, who was in charge of marketing and distribution to assist the company in negotiations with various media and cable companies. Apple is interested in beefing up its content offerings to better compete with streaming devices such as Roku, and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s PlayStation 3 gaming systems. The company most recently brought HBO Go and WatchESPN apps to the Apple TV.
Apple on Wednesday announced that the HBO GO and WatchESPN apps are now available on Apple TV. The company also added support for news channel Sky News, East Asian media channel Crunchyroll and music channel Qello. Apple TV users now has access to more than 60,000 movies and 230,000 TV shows from the iTunes Store as well as content providers like Hulu and Netflix. More →
Tim Cook revealed on Tuesday at the AllThingsD: D11 conference that Apple has now sold more than 13 million second-generation Apple TV devices. Even more impressive, the CEO noted that roughly half of those devices were sold in the past year alone. Philip Elmer-DeWitt of Fortune crunched the numbers and found that Apple controls more than half of the digital media receiver market. Not including dedicated gaming systems such as the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, Apple TV has a 71% share of the market. The popular Roku box has sold more than 5 million units, giving it a 27% share of the market, and the Boxee Box sold about 200,000 units, for a 1% share, before it was discontinued last summer.
Apple’s ‘iTV’ said to launch this year with ‘major innovation that will revolutionize the TV experience’
Apple’s (AAPL) own-brand HDTV has reportedly been in the works for years now, and it will finally debut later this year according to a new report. Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White, who has reported accurate details about unannounced Apple products in the past, is currently meeting with supply chain sources in China and Taiwan. During his travels, the analyst gleaned information from unnamed sources that has him convinced that Apple will finally launch its “iTV” in the second half of 2013. And beyond the inevitable excitement among Apple fans as the company enters a new market, White says Apple’s HDTV will include some innovative new features that will make it a game-changer. More →
Apple’s (AAPL) much rumored own-brand HDTV is among several highly anticipated new opportunities that industry watchers expect to help reverse investor sentiment once it launches. But according to a recent survey of 3,910 consumers polled by online buying guide Retrevo, high interest in Apple’s upcoming “iTV” won’t necessarily translate into sales. 69% of all people surveyed said they might consider a purchase of an HDTV from Apple, and that number shot up to 81% among those polled who were already iPhone or iPad owners. But only 15% of shoppers said they would “feel comfortable” buying an Apple television, compared to 39% who would feel comfortable buying a Sony (SNE) TV and 51% comfortable with Samsung (005930) TVs. On the plus side, however, 22% of those polled (and 30% of current iPhone and iPad owners) said they would hold off on buying a TV from another vendor if they knew Apple planned to unveil an HDTV of its own.
Apple’s (AAPL) much rumored HDTV was expected to debut in 2013, but a new report suggests manufacturing issues have pushed the television’s launch back to sometime next year. In a note to investors picked up by ValueWalk on Tuesday, Jefferies & Company analyst Peter Misek pumped the brakes following his claim last year that Apple would hold a press conference in March 2013 to unveil its own-brand HDTV. Misek says panel suppliers LG Display and Sharp are having problems ”achieving yield on the displays,” which has caused the delay. The analyst gives Apple’s “iWatch” a 50% shot at launching this year though, and he thinks it will sport a 1-inch display and a $200 price tag.
With a company as secretive as Apple (AAPL), some of the best information on its upcoming projects often comes from its job postings. 9to5Mac now points us to a new Apple job posting that seeks an “experienced engineering manager to help deliver the next generation features for Apple TV” who will also “work closely with cross functional teams” while “representing Apple TV across Apple.” Since the job posting also says that the engineering manager will help “bring the Apple experience to the living room,” it sounds as though the new Apple TV features will more tightly integrate the platform with other Apple products based on iOS and OS X. Recent rumors have indicated that Apple will release an SDK for its Apple TV platform sometime this year, so it would make sense for Apple to hire an engineer for additional help making the company’s set-top box function more like a smartphone or a tablet with support for third-party apps.
The Xbox is one of the best things that Microsoft (MSFT) has going for it right now, but one of the console’s founding engineers thinks the company is in grave danger of getting its hide handed to it by Apple (AAPL)… again. Nat Brown, a former Microsoft engineer who worked at the company until 1999 and who was one of the founders of the Xbox project, has written a long post on his personal blog making the case that Microsoft has only been winning the console wars over the past couple of years because Sony (SNE) and Nintendo (NTDOY) have been screwing up so badly. He also tears apart the company’s strategy for allowing independent game developers to create games for the platform, saying that the process for developing and distributing games on the console is far too cumbersome. More →
Rumors of a “revolutionary” Apple (AAPL) television set have been around for years, but this may be the year that we actually see the mythical iTV unveiled for public consumption. Per MacRumors, Jefferies & Co. analyst Peter Misek reports that Apple is holding an event for developers in March that “is Apple-TV related (possibly an iTV SDK introduction).” Even more enticing, Misek believes that a ”September/October iTV launch is being targeted” and that the SDK will give developers plenty of time to have apps ready when it’s released to the market. Misek also expects the “iTV” to be priced at around $1,500 and sized between 42 inches and 55 inches. More →
HBO on Tuesday updated its HBO GO and MAX GO applications for the iPhone and iPad, adding long-awaited AirPlay support. The new update will allow cable and satellite TV customers who subscribe to either HBO or Cinemax to stream on-demand content via their iOS devices to any Apple TV set-top box. The announcement was made by HBO President and COO Eric Kessler during the AllThingsD: Dive Into Media conference in San Francisco, and both app updates are available immediately in Apple’s (AAPL) App Store.