Apple TV or why 2012 won’t be like 1984   Leave a comment

Ever since Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs came out, readers like I have become fascinated with the way one man could change the information age as we know it so completely.  Since Steve Jobs’ death in October, many wondered what would be Apple’s next big thing.  Walter Isaacson’s biography may provide the answer.  In it, Steve Jobs tells Walter that he had “cracked” the code for making an Apple TV set that would revolutionize TV as we knew it.  Apple already has “Apple TV” on the market.  This is a box that can be connected to your existing TV set to allow streaming from iTunes, Netflix etc.  However, Steve Jobs’ vision was to have Apple produce a full-fledged HD TV set, complete with screen and everything.  Here are the rumors surrounding the upcoming Apple TV set that may launch as early as in 2012:

1.  iCloud:  the new Apple TV set will sync with iCloud, allowing users to have access to their entire iTunes library.  Users will be able to rent or buy content on iTunes and watch it on their TV sets, just as they are now able to watch or listen on other Apple devices such as the iPad, iPhone or iTouch.

2.  Size:  the new Apple TV set will reportedly come in a range of sizes, according to Apple guru Gene Munster.  This will allow anyone from the college student to the suburban family to buy an Apple TV set.

3.  Price:  rumors have it that Apple TV sets will be expensive, at least twice as expensive as a conventional TV set.  According to Gene Munster, an average price might be around $1600 for a TV set that would normally cost $800.

4.  Developer:  Jeff Robbin, the same expert who devloped iTunes and the iPod, is reportedly heavily involved in developing the Apple TV set.  Robbin was hired by Apple in 2000 after Apple bought SoundJam, the digital music player that he developed.  He was so valuable to Steve Jobs, that his identity was reportedly a closely guarded secret, for fear that he would be poached by competitors, according to Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs.  Apple insiders say that there is currently an Apple TV set prototype.

5.  Siri:  the most exciting rumor, to me, is that the new Apple TV set will have a Siri-like interface that will allow users to TALK to their TV sets, something many of us are already doing nonetheless, only now when we talk to the TV, it will actually respond.  The possibilities are endless.  Users will be able to simply tell the TV set to play the latest episode of “Breaking Bad” or to change the channel to CNN.  This is probably what Steve Jobs was referring to when he said that Apple TV would have an extremely simple interface.

6.  Integration:  the new Apple TV set will reportedly integrate seamlessly with other Apple devices, such as the iPad and the iPhone.  One can envision using the iPhone as a remote, for example, or using the iPad to set up recordings of live TV, for example.

7.  Content:  in addition to offering iTunes content, Apple TV will reportedly make deals with cable companies like Comcast and Time Warner to provide a complete set of content, for a price that is rumored to be less than $100 per month.  This, of course, is Apple’s biggest hurdle and will ultimately determine how successful the project becomes.

To me, the whole idea of a TV set made by Apple was foreshadowed by Steve Jobs himself in his 1983 keynote address, when he first showed the Macintosh “1984” ad.  Only time will tell if 2012 will or will not be like 1984.

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Posted December 4, 2011 by deboraplehn in Apple

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