Among the plethora of announcements just made by Apple, lies the promise of a new and improved Apple TV. Apple iTV was falling perfectly into place with Apple’s other illustrious i-devices but the rebranded name: Apple TV, is more like it.
The Apple TV has been a lot cheaper with a US price of $99 (from $299!) seeking to blow competition out of the water. Moreover, all programming for the Apple TV will now be available via streaming.
But perhaps the biggest development, along with HDMI ready support, is the availability of Netflix on the Apple TV. This comes just on the back of the phenomenal success of the NetFlix app for the iPhone, which is currently topping the downloads on the App Store.
Streaming movies and TV shows will be available from iTunes 10 as well as Netflix and together with the $200 price-cut, this should be one heck of an offering to those who have always viewed the Apple TV as a gizmo rather than device which can be used at home for entertainment.
Steve Jobs says that the iTV is his ‘hobby’, but this time it looks like he has decided to make lots of money from this hobby-project. Since its launch in 2006 the Apple iTV has been receiving a lukewarm response at best. Perhaps now things will change.
Market experts suggest that the $99 price is ideal for a device like the Apple TV to fly off the shelves, because this price is compatible with the ‘impulse buying’ habits of the US customer. Moreover even the youth population can be targeted as potential customers of this device.
As far as the inclusion of Netflix is concerned, it looks like Apple has resorted to a ‘if you can’t crush them, include them’ policy! The main competitors of the Apple TV are services such as Netflix and all smartphones. So Apple has decided to have at least one major threat working for it as opposed to against it.
And this entertainment device will also play a major role in Apple’s attempts to challenge and defeat the established Flash format for online video. But that, to a large extent, will depend on how customers take to the Apple TV.