Posts filed under ‘Apple TV’
Just the other day, an Apple patent filed sometime in 2006 turned up describing how a media hub could implement live TV recording functionality and how a touch sensitive remote control could be used to interact with the device. Today, Shaw Wu of American Technology Research says Apple TV will soon incorporate Digital Video Recording technology and iPhone/iPod Touch may be used as its remote control. He goes on to say that adding this feature into Apple TV could total between $12-$15 of hardware per unit and it “could turn [Apple TV] into a billion dollar, if not multi-billion dollar business”. Wu also mentions sources who claim Sony and Apple are in final discussions to bring Blu-Ray drives to Macs.
Twenty-four hours after yesterday’s keynote, I’m trying to objectively decide on the significance of the announcements made. As usual, the devil’s in the details:
Time Capsule – this is a wireless backup appliance that automatically backs up one or multiple Macs in conjunction with Time Machine. It’s essentially an Airport Extreme tied to a HDD in 500GB or 1TB capacities.
iPhone/Touch software upgrade – version 1.1.3 firmware ( requires new iTunes v7.6 ) for iPhone adds location-aware Maps, Web Clips, multiple home screens, multiple SMS plus iTunes upgrades. For iPod Touch, 5 new apps: Mail, Maps, Stocks, Weather, and Notes as a $20 upgrade for existing users. SDK in late February.
Apple TV Take 2 ( new software ) – AirTunes support allows direct streaming to device with SD and HD ( High Definition ) content, adds Dolby Digital 5.1, partnership with 9 movie studios, rent movies and watch as many times as you want within 24 hours after which it times out, plus lower price of $229.
MacBook Air – world’s thinnest notebook, features multi-touch gesture support using trackpad, 1.6 GHz or 1.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB of memory, 80GB 1.8-inch hard drive, the latest 802.11n and Bluetooth 2.1, 13.3-inch LED-backlit plus full sized backlit keyboard, iSight, 1 USB port, Micro-DVI and headphone ports, battery not user replaceable ( $129 ), retails for $1799.
So what’s the reaction been like? UBS analysts have said Apple’s MacWorld keynote was a bit disappointing. That feeling has been echoed more or less by other analysts as well. As a result, Apple shares yesterday closed at $ 169.04 down 9.74 %.
As for me, I have to admit Time Capsule was a surprise, although not a very exciting one. There are many wired third-party back up devices already available and I don’t really see major demand for wireless backup. I mainly see Time Capsule as a relatively fat profit margin device that Apple needs to maintain high revenues. The iPhone/Touch software upgrade was timely although I was expecting a 3G announcement to be made and platform SDK to be finally revealed ( maybe even games ). Apple TV Take 2 is an attempt by Apple to finally shift this product from a hobby to a viable business, but I have my doubts whether renting ( as opposed to subscription model ) works better. MBA is an engineering marvel but I’m put off by the high price. BTW, MBA uses a new software called ‘Remote Disc’ which allows a MBA user to share optical drives of other Macs or PCs to wirelessly transfer files, obviously as long as Remote Disc is installed on those machines as well. That begs the question how are you supposed to install Remote Disc on another computer in the first place? Well, you either have to bring the install DVD along or carry a copy for each operating system on a portable USB drive. Overall, it was a bit dissapointing but I’ll assure you it WILL shape up to be a very exciting year for Apple.
Watch this space from 12:00 PM EST for live coverage of Macworld 2008 keynote address by Steve Jobs.
Apple Store has been down for the past three hours, so expect new hardware!
9:16 Steve Jobs takes the stage and talks about the positive year 2007 was for the OS, Macs, iPods, and iPhones. 4 main things to talk about.
Apple has shipped over 5 million copies of Leopard in the first 3 months! Over 20% of the OS X install base has upgraded.
Apple releases Time Capsule: a companion product to Time Machine ( a backup appliance ) with AirPort Extreme and a hard drive. You can back up all your Macs in your home to one Time Capsule wirelessly. Sold in 2 versions.
9: 20 iPhone has been selling for exactly 200 days, 4 million to date sold, 20K per day on average! iPhone SDK in late February, Demonstrates maps with location feature on iPhone, multiple party SMS, up to 9 home screens. iPhone software v1.1.3 available today.
9:37 iPod touch gets five new apps: Mail, maps, stocks, notes, and weather, for a price! $20 upgrade for existing users.
9:39 iTunes: 4 billion songs to date, 20 million alone on Christmas day. Apple introduces iTunes Movie Rentals in partnership with Touchstone, MGM, Miramax, Lions Gate, Fox, WB, Walt Disney, Paramount, Universal, Sony. Rent a library title for $2.99 or a new release for $3.99. Once you dowload a title, you have 30 days to start watching it, it times out after 24 hours of starting. Rent in either DVD or HD quality, download to Apple TV, or transfer to iPod. Over 100 HD quality titles available today with more to come.
9:52 Apple TV with simpler, beautiful interface. You can now buy 6 million s0ngs or 600 TV shows directly on your Apple TV. New price just $229 with a free software upgrade for existing users.
10:10 Apple introduces MacBook Air, world’s thinnest notebook! 0.76 inches at thickest point – 0.16-inches at thinnest! So thin it fits inside a manilla envelope. Priced bet/ Macbook and Macbook Pro. Full sized keyboard and display ( 13.3 inches ) with backlit display and keyboard and trackpad with multi-touch gesture! Ships with 80GB HDD or optional 64GB SSD. It’s a total wireless machine with 802.11n and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR. USB Optical drive is an accessory for $99. You can install software wirelessly! Order now and shipped in 2 weeks for $1799.
10:27 The new MBA is enclosed in an all aluminum case, has mercury and arsenic free display, circuit boards are bromide and PVC free, and comes with 50% less packaging.
So that’s it! Not a bad keynote, as a matter of fact, the new MBA is totally awe inspiring. What do you think?
According to the Hollywood magazine Variety, Apple plans to introduce movie rentals as short as 24 hours that become “unplayable” afterwards using a flexible pricing system that will cost $5 each for new releases and $2 each for older titles.
Variety also reports that FOX and Disney are already supporting this plan while Lionsgate, MGM, and Paramount could also join iTunes soon. The possible date for the introduction of this new service is cited as next month at Macworld 2008 in San Francisco.
If true, the catalog of titles that those 5 major movie studios bring to the table plus iTunes software’s smooth and integrated downloading experience could spell major trouble for the likes of Blockbuster and Netflix.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster says ITMS movie rentals direct to Apple TV will be announced at Macworld keynote address on January 15, 2008. He expects a software update to Apple TV to enable this service and adds that pricing and DRM-related issues between the movie studios and Apple have been the main obstacles to an agreement.
Phillip Swann of TVPredictions.com, on the other hand, says Apple will dump the model labeled by Steve Jobs himself as a “hobby” by the end of 2008. Swann cites lackluster Apple TV sales of about 400 000 units this year as a factor. Various Apple enthusiasts sites have also reported the possible integration of Apple TV with a large flat panel resulting in a new Apple offering.
I personally think Apple will introduce a vastly improved Apple TV 2.0 in 2008 featuring hardware upgrades like larger onboard storage and more digital connectivity options plus HD content rental on ITMS. Now tell me that wouldn’t turn Apple TV from a hobby into a viable business leg.