Engadget’s got some more rumors on the project, which will reportedly be dubbed iTV when it’s revealed this fall. We previously heard that Apple was slimming down the television set-top with iPhone-like specs, including an A4 processor and 16 GB of flash memory. Now, Josh Topolsky’s unnamed tipster says iTV will definitely support apps. Whether they’ll be iTV originals or iPhone/iPad converts is unknown.
Apps aside, the iTV will reportedly make use of new streaming media features in iTunes (maybe the same ones the Lala team is rumored to be working on). But Engadget says that after some infighting, Apple settled on 720p instead of 1080p, due to processor limitations.
I don’t think the apps or the resolution matter much. If the iTV is real, as Engadget describes it, the truly killer feature will be its $99 price tag. At that price, Apple could pitch iTV as a cheap and easy way to connect iTunes with a television, either by streaming or loading them onto the device. That was the original goal of Apple TV, but at $229, it’s harder to justify a bulky box with only one intended purpose. A $100 iPhone-size device is a different story altogether, and the presence of apps — a marketing hook that has worked well for Apple so far — would only sweeten the deal.
Would it be as deliberate an attempt at revolution as Google TV? No, but you can’t underestimate the power of iTunes, which by 2007 had more than 500 million users. If any meaningful percentage of those people use iTunes to download videos, iTV will be a hit, as long as it’s real.