Rumor: New Apple TV and 1080p iTunes Store Content Inbound
Way back in November, quiet rumors began to circulate that there might be a new Apple TV on the way. The primary evidence was that some retailers had begun to sell the Apple TV for less than Apple’s MSRP. Since then, the denizens of the Interwebs have been preoccupied with whipping themselves into a frenzy about the iPad 3 and the mythical iTV. With the iPad 3 announcement now expected in early March, Apple rumormongers have evidently decided to look around and see if there is any evidence that Apple might be planning to offer up a side dish and have alit on the iTunes Store and the Apple TV. The latest rumors suggest that Apple will launch 1080p content for the iTunes Store. If the iPad 3’s Retina Display pans out, then this one seems like a near certainty at some point in the near future. Even on a 10″ screen, 720p content on a 2048 x 1536 LCD panel is less than ideal. The Apple TV has been caught up in this round of rumors not only because a refreshed unit would also benefit from 1080p content, but because there is a whole bunch of circumstantial evidence that the second generation Apple TV, now being listed by some retailers as the 2010 model, is in short supply in the retail channel.
In addition to the expected announcement of the iPad 3 at a media event in early March, new rumors and speculation suggest that we could see a revised Apple TV alongside the new tablet. Shortages of the current Apple TV and the possibility of 1080p iTunes content are fueling the refresh rumors.
I’ve mentioned before that I tend to be wary of getting too deep into rumor territory here on Missing Remote, particularly when it comes to Apple rumors, with their tendency to drag out for months at a time with a veritable firestorm unleashed every time there is a hint that some new piece of info might have been discovered. I also tend to avoid speculating on the veracity of rumors. After all, they are rumors. However, in this case, I am going to go out on a limb and suggest that this one feels right.
The current Apple TV is getting way long in the tooth and is due for an update. Whether 1080p content is announced in March or not, it is coming eventually and the Apple TV will have to be updated to take advantage of it. Also, there was Tim Cook’s recent remarks at the Goldman Sachs Technology Conference about the Apple TV being a hobby and that Apple not generally doing hobbies. Most folks took his comments about Apple’s future in the television space to be in reference to the iTV, but unless the iTV is being announced in March, then I think Cook’s comments about the value of the Apple TV and its trailblazing ways are a pretty sure sign that the Apple TV isn’t going away any time soon.