Apple Expected to Announce New Set Top Box in June
Pundits have been speculating for years and years that Apple would release its own smart TV, but it looks like they’re going to have to wait for at least a little longer. There’s a new report in Buzzfeed today which says that Apple’s next product for your living room won’t be a tv set but instead an updated Apple TV set top box.
The highly reliable John Paczkowski says that Apple is making a bid to reinvent the TV viewing experience:
Sources say Apple’s new Apple TV is a significant overhaul of the device, one intended to undergird Apple’s vision of what the TV viewing experience should be, and to raise the table stakes in a set-top box market cluttered with barely differentiated devices from Amazon, Roku, and others. If I’m understanding the company’s strategy correctly, the new Apple TV isn’t just a play for a stake of the streaming TV market, but for the mythical digital living room. Think TV, music, apps and a little bit of home automation as well.
The new model will run a new OS on Apple’s latest A8. It will have additional storage, access to an app store, and it will support Siri voice control of Apple TV – presumably via an iPhone app or a new microphone-equipped remote control. It’s also expected that the new OS will include integration with Homekit-enabled home automation devices, as earlier reports have suggested.
The new Apple TV is expected to be revealed at Apple WWDC, and I would bet that Apple’s rumored web TV service will also launch at the same time. A date has yet to be chosen for the conference, but most sources believe it will be scheduled sometime in early June.
Curiously, the current Apple TV model is selling for $69. It got a price cut last week, suggesting that Apple might be planning to offer two models come June, with the newer one priced at $99 or higher.
There’s no word on when the new model will ship, but when it does arrive it’s going to find a crowded market. In addition to the Fire TV and Roku boxes, the Apple TV will face competitions from NVidia’s new Steam console.
That’s a tight market, but it’s also one in which Apple is doing well. They announced in January that they had shipped 25 million Apple TVs. That may be a paltry figure in comparison to gaming console sales, but it’s not insignificant.
image by smlp.co.uk