updated 09:15 am EDT, Fri July 2, 2010
Apple planning very different UI for new Apple TV
Apple's next-generation Apple TV should have a "completely redesigned" interface, insiders said on Friday. While they only implied it might use iOS, they claimed Apple had hired multiple broadcast design experts and wasn't even keeping the project to the regular Apple TV team. Some of the deepest work is being done by another group, the sources said.
While the NYT wasn't certain what the product would be, the device is expected to largely be an iPhone 4-sized box with an A4 processor and 16GB of storage that would focus on streaming rather than local caching. Although smaller and just $99, it would be more powerful and could support 1080p video.
Regardless of how it ships, the resulting project is said by the contacts to be very important for Apple. Executives now want the Apple TV to escape its perception as a "hobby" as the competition has increased since the first design was introduced.
Serious competition already exists in the form of media hubs like the Roku Internet Player as well as living room devices where digital media is an important side feature, such as the PS3 and Xbox 360. However, Apple's main concern may be Google TV. It has been designed largely as a means of giving an Internet layer to traditional TV but will support Android apps and could undermine Apple's approach of avoiding conventional TV altogether.
Most speculation has put the reworked Apple TV's debut at the company's traditional media-focused event, which normally takes place in late summer or early fall.