Archive for the ‘ AppleTV ’ Category

Could This Picture Resemble the iTV/Apple TV Display

The Apple TV Display is the second white whale that the Apple Rumor Web is tracking (mini iPad is the other one).

The rumor like most Apple rumors has been percolating for about 12 months with denials and confirmations from Wall Street analysts just about every week.

This week we got three interesting rumors about the actual white whale.

Rumor one comes from Cult of Mac. They claim that the device looks like a large Thunderbolt Display and has Siri like abilities for control. Cult of Mac indicates that the device will feature Airplay (kind of a given) and Facetime for living room video chat. And they are claiming that their source has actually seen the device which is a first. Usually the rumors have been total speculation, but now we have someone who has seen the white whale.

Rumor two comes via rumor China Daily by way of MacRumors. Apparently a Foxconn executive confirmed that Foxconn would be building the Apple TV Display and has begun preparations to build the elusive Apple TV Display. Now, the reliability of these rumors is pretty low. But lately rumors of partnerships between Foxconn and Sharp have been flying around as well. And the Chinese production pipeline is generally

Rumor three comes from Appleinsider. Appleinsider is claiming that Apple will purchase German TV manufacturer Loewe. Loewe makes a line up of high end flat panel TVs. Here are some sample images including a prototype clear TV that is very cool.

Looking at the first image it’s easy to see how Jonny Ive would be impressed by the minimalist design and sleek lines. The transparent prototype also looks like a TV design Apple would offer. And Jonny Ive and Steve Jobs have always acknowledged the influence of the design aesthetic of German electronics giant Braun. Loewe certainly seems to embody that philosophy in their TV designs. Loewe is involved in both advanced LCD and OLED design efforts, so the technical skills are there for future advanced TV designs.

So why would Apple buy Loewe? If Apple had been working with Loewe on the Apple TV it may have simply reach a point where the shared intellectual property is so advanced/unique that Apple wants to ensure full control over the developed technology. At this point, Loewe is denying it, but everyone always denies takeover rumors. It would be unusual for Apple to buy a hardware company with over 1000 employees and even more unusual for an Apple takeover to leak. Still the hardware designs are intriguing element to the rumor.

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2011 Predictions

With the release of the Verizon and Apple’s super calendar Q4 2010 Financial results behind us, how does the rest of the 2011 look in terms of Apple news.

One new feature that we may see is the Apple video event. Since Apple now has video streaming for events working, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Apple use this new feature to do more product events that don’t require the media to fly in person to Cupertino.

February:

OS X Lion first Beta is released. OS X Lion new features released by introductory movies on apple.com. If Lion is really going to be released some time this summer at WWDC as expected, then a beta version of the OS with more features being revealed needs to happen this spring.  And Apple won’t want to distract from iOS 5 preview in March. A big part of Lion is going to be the cloud functionality, expect to see demoed a host of new cloud services added to MobileMe. Lion gains features and capabilities related to the cloud. This could be Apple’s first video only media event.

March:

New iPad with a FaceTime camera. Price points will stay the same.  Some rumor mongering that the iPad will gain a Retina Display, but one powerful rumor voice (Daring Fireball)  is denying this. New multi-core processor seems to be a given, and additional RAM is a strong possibility. Apple might continue to sell the base older model iPad for $399, further putting price pressure on would be tablet competitors. Based on Jobs’ comments, a 7 inch iPad is total pipedream. The rumored additional video and SD Card slots could make the new iPad 2 a very powerful machine.

April:

1. MacBook Pros Refresh. MacBooks get Flash RAM storage as standard but retain DVD-R-RW drives. Expect Apple to start pushing using SD Cards to add additional storage to MacBook Pro. Look for that technology and pricing to drop as iPad and MacBook Pro users add storage thru this method. Newest Intel SandyBridge technology is virtual certainty. The vunerable White MacBook gets a further price drops and remains using conventional hard drives, but it also gets a SD Card Slot. 17 inch MacBook Pro gets USB 3.0.

2. iOS 5.0 – new release demonstrated which is unified for both iPad and iPhone. Features/changes in iOS 5, best guesses are;

  • New Notification system: Apple hired the Palm Web OS GUI guru who designed the Web OS notification system. This maybe iOS weakest GUI element right now. It’s just not very elegant. Notified for jailbroken iPhones is a good starting point.
  • New front screen called Dashboard. This Widget info screen for iPad and a status screen for iPhone containing dashboard type data that can be chosen and placed in order by the user; weather, recent text messages, music being streamed info, calendar events, recent emails, etc.. It functions in front of the lock screen. You swipe to the right to login.  Lock Info for jailbroken iPhones is pretty good place to draw ideas from.
  • Next round of enterprise security features added. Increasing strength of iPhone as a corporate choice. Verizon iPhone opens up a lot of new corporations as potential iPhone adopters. Apple is almost on par with RIM and has a big lead on Android right now in this space.
  • Improved Calendar application – probably the weakest of the Contacts/Email/Calendar “Outlook” trinity on the iPhone. iCal on the iPad is probably the best out of the 3 platforms – Mac, iPad, iPhone. Gizmodo/Lifehacker featured recently an iCal replacement called Week Calendar
  • iOS updates over the cloud. Ability to do a cloud restore of iPhone over WiFi via MobileMe.

June/July:

1. WWDC- Huge developer conference. Have to wonder if Apple might find a larger location than the Moscone center to host a huge variety of OS X Lion sessions and iOS 5 sessions. Apple will demo final versions of both OS Lion and iOS 5. Lion for sale immediately. iO5 will be released later in 3 weeks to existing iOS machines. Huge test of whether Apple can deliver an iOS update the same summer as a big Mac OS X release.

2. At WWDC, new iPhones will be announced. Same overall form factor but guts are all updated, same points available in a combined GSM (support for “4G” HSPA+)/CDMA version giving Apple more efficient production capability, while the current iPhone 4 slides down to $99 or even $49. Features will include a new processor which like the iPad is exclusive to Apple, updated camera, Near Field Technology added (capability for NF technology built into iOS 5). In addition, iPhone 4 Pro will also be released, both CDMA and GSM, it will retail for $299 at 16 MB but will have a 4 inch larger screen. Version for Verizon should have LTE capability. This seems earlier than expected, but after finally getting on Verizon Apple will not want to surrender the premium LTE smartphone space back to Android devices. One last thing, look for T-Mobile to get the updated iPhone if Apple has been able to secure sufficient production capability for AT&T and Verizon. Sprint with their focus on WiMax is not a factor.

August:

The usual big media event setting the stage for the holiday  iPod lineup. Now this media event is losing its’ sizzle so Apple amps it up with some big time updates.

1. iPod event- two classes of iPod Touch (3.5 inch and 4inch) just like the iPhone. Updated guts, etc. Maximum storage is increased to 128 GB.

2. iPod Nano gets a huge update and gets a new name iWatch. iWatch resembles the Nano, but with a number of features.

  • A persistent low energy clock application that allows for the “watch” to always be on.
  • Bluetooth for wireless headphones/earbud. Device will still retain the mini 3.5 audio jack.
  • Bluetooth syncing with your iPhone. iWatch will give you prompts messages about incoming phone calls, text messages, upcoming calendar alarms.
  • Voice command application integrated.

3. AppleTV gains a host of new native applications, a huge library of Airplay equipped applications running on either a Mac or an iOS device, and finally an SDK/App Store for AppleTV is announced. Focus of this App Store will be interactive gaming titles controlled by an iOS device. Finally, AppleTV gets upgraded guts like every other iOS device.

4. It finally happens, iTunes Streaming and online access to your entire Music Library from any number of Mac, Windows, and iOS devices.

October:

A back to the Mac event focusing on the new iMac enclosure and Mac Mini update. Both desktops get new interface LightPeak (super fast fiber optic interface) to reduce cable clutter and vastly increase bandwidth for the desktops. iMac gets a whole new enclosure that is thinner and more dramatic. Mac Mini gets improved guts. Both devices move OS and core applications to Flash RAM drives to provide a huge boost in performance.

Apple to buy Tivo rumor reappears

If there’s one constant about technology rumors is that the same stories keep getting recycled, especially where Apple is concerned,  despite the fact that Apple never really publicly says anything. A quick recap;

    • iPhone – 3 years of rumor mongering before release
    • iPad- been a rumor of some kind ever since the death of the Newton

      With both of those products shipping, one of the last really great Apple rumors left is Apple buying Tivo.

      This rumor goes back to February 2005 , so it’s got at least five years of reanimating like a bad killer from a slasher movie. MoD estimates that today’s rumor about Apple buying Tivo is at least Apple Tivo 6: Revenge of Tivo at this point.

      So what’s the latest rumor? “TiVo (TIVO) shares have spiked on rumors that the company’s technology could be included in the next generation Apple (AAPL) TV box.”

      First reported by a blog on the Baron’s website, it wasn’t long until every big technology site and Apple site had this rumor and were running with it. Now, MoD has tried to backtrack the rumor to see if there’s any reason to give this rumor some weight, and couldn’t find any.

      Regardless let’s play point/counterpoint on why Apple should do this.

      Let’s buy TiVo!!!!

      1. TiVo is generally considered to have the best GUI in the DVR space and has held that reign for nearly 8 years. MoD has a Motorola Comcast DVR which appears to have been designed by some East German programmer during the 197os. It has the worst GUI that the MoD has ever seen in a device. To quote Robert Downey Jr, “son you never go full retard”, well Motorola/Comcast has apparently never seen Tropic Thunder.  If Apple wanted to add DVR capability to their AppleTV, TiVo is a great place to get both intellectual property and skilled talent.

      2. TiVo would provide instant brand recognition. All DVRs are called TiVos, now you might think that battle is over but Apple could certainly infuse TiVo with a lot of cash and a lot of influence/hype. Imagine a TiVo that is integrated and controlled by your iPod Touch/iPhone/iPad that is integrated with iTunes, and is an iOS 4 device. Add Apple’s marketing savvy, media connections, to TiVo’s existing brand power and some could argue there’s significant synergy.

      Old rumor that makes no sense currently

      1. Apple buying TiVo doesn’t change TiVos biggest problem. Most customers get their HD receivers from either their satellite or cable vendor. Those devices have DVRs and are good enough to keep TiVo at bay. The best TiVo was the integrated DirecTV receiver version which no longer exists. You can use the latest TiVos with CableCARDs to circumvent the cable company’s own DVR or Set Top Box. However, few customers knows this, and the cable companies go to great pains to make CableCARD adoption as painful as possible.

      2. TiVo is all about managing your content coming from the cable company. TiVo is the solution for an old problem, recording broadcast network content to watch at the customer’s convenience. That doesn’t sound like “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” (Jobs’ favorite quote by Wayne Gretsky). The future of programming is streaming content on demand, not broadcast television, and how does TiVo help Apple with that future of media delivery?

      3. Why not just quote Steve from the All Things Digital Conference this year when asked about future of TV and he mentions TiVo

      “Q: Is it time to throw out the interface for TV? Does television need a new human interface.

      A: The problem with innovation in the TV industry is the go-to-market strategy. The TV industry has a subsidized model that gives everyone a set top box for free. So no one wants to buy a box. Ask TiVo, ask Roku, ask us… ask Google in a few months. The television industry fundamentally has a subsidized business model that gives everyone a set-top box, and that pretty much undermines innovation in the sector. The only way this is going to change is if you start from scratch, tear up the box, redesign and get it to the consumer in a way that they want to buy it. But right now, there’s no way to do that….The TV is going to lose until there’s a viable go-to-market strategy. That’s the fundamental problem with the industry. It’s not a problem with the technology, it’s a problem with the go-to-market strategy….I’m sure smarter people than us will figure this out, but that’s why we say Apple TV is a hobby.”