Apple has apparently been hard at work getting the concept of an Apple television set into a workable device, which is apparently destined to be called iTV. The information comes from the WSJ who are suggesting that the new TV set will likely have much of the same functionality as the current Apple TV box, but with additional features and, as expected, the unique Apple design.
The Apple television is rumored to be predominantly reliant on streaming content, either over the web, or over a home network. This would include music, movies and TV shows. This is obviously quite similar to the current generation Apple TV so there wouldn’t seem to be much that would set the television set apart from the Apple TV, unless Apple decided to offer a new subscription service at the same time.
In addition, some of the rumored new features include the integration of Siri and voice control. This is something that has alread debuted in other mainstream technologies like Microsoft Kinect for the Xbox 360. It’s also been suggested that the TV would also have gesture-based controls and certainly, previous Apple patents that have been uncovered would suggest that the company is looking to implement this type of technology in some of their devices.
Naturally, streaming content over a home network from other Apple devices, either Macs or iOS devices, would mean that the TV would likely be AirPlay enabled, but once again, given that the current generation Apple TV can do this, it’s unclear how the company would seek to make the television set different. In addition, controlling the TV with an iOS device would also likely be a new feature (although, once again, this can be accomplished with a current gen Apple TV and the remote app).
The summation of all of this information from the WSJ will probably have many people questioning how Apple will actually manage to differentiate what is likely to be a premium-priced TV set from the $99 box that they currently sell for controlling a TV. Will Siri be the killer feature or is that something that could easily be integrated into the next generation of Apple TV? Will the new television have access to an ‘App Store’? What is the design premium that consumers will pay so that they can remove that extra set-top box and have all the hardware integrated into the television? That is likely to be one of the most important questions.