I first talked about an Apple TV set in June, and today I've found more data on what could be an Apple TV set in HDTV. This idea is quickly moving from an Apple rumor to something with more news credibility as the Summer passes.
The lead today comes from VentureBeat, who's talking about multiple sources in Silicon Valley telling them about the Apple TV set. Even the Wall Street Journal is throwing the idea out there.
Sources say that it's an actual HDTV TV set, not just an Apple TV box like they've done up in the past. The difference would be that it will be a self-contained TV set that has Apple's iOS on it. People are dropping names like iTelevision and iTV already.
Now that we're working our way towards Apple's new iCloud phase, we could see the emergence of a new Apple product: an Apple-branded TV set. Sound far fetched? Apple's been moving towards video media for years, with movies and TV shows in iTunes, not to mention their Apple TV experiment. Think of HDMI support to connect anything, and streaming from the Apple iCloud, and you've got a high-quality TV set with iTunes and iCloud integration and you've got a powerful experience. It would Apple doing what Apple has done so many times in the past -- taking an existing idea, do it better than it has been done in the past, and launch it with good timing instead of being too early to the market.
iTunes made an update in July that included full-screen mode and is 64-bit capable. What does this mean? It was a high-powered iTunes upgrade that can support full screen apps and video. The new iTunes is for both Apple and Windows users, and since it supports a 64-bit Cocoa-native version of the new OS X 10.7 Lion. Apple's new move into the iCloud positions it to create an Apple TV set as the new product to replace the iPod.
"Apple's iCloud service for media storage makes it simpler to own multiple Apple devices and share content among them. At first the only media iCloud will store is music and pictures, but we believe Apple may add movies and TV shows purchased or rented in iTunes to the iCloud service, which could be viewed on a TV," said Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster earlier this Summer.
Mr. Munster believes the Apple TV set could be priced in the $1800 range, leaving out of reach for some but in a range to position it as a luxury good. Apple's always been about the big item. Then think of HDTV (high-def) video. Think of cloud-based access. HDMI support. Drooling yet?