Apple TV Rumor Volume Increases
As the Worldwide Developers Conference comes closer, rumors continue to amass around Apple TV. Apple’s only living room hardware has not been updated since since March of 2012. In fact, the only change to Apple TV was a price adjustment, which was announced just a few couple months ago during the Apple Watch final announcement.
Apple TV has grown long in the tooth, with outdated hardware and a waning interest from consumers. Certainly, there was a spike in March 2015 when the discounted pricing took the device from $100 to $70 and a 30 day free HBO NOW trial. But, a true update has yet to appear with rumors swirling about a dedicated app store, Siri support and an A8 processor.
Armchair analysts are calling for a new streaming service that would convert any remaining non-cord cutters, convincing them release themselves from cable’s stronghold. The rumor gained a lot of support with a report coming out of The Wall Street Journal, which is considered a news outlet which often releases intended rumors initiated from Cupertino. Re/code also reported Apple was in final talks with televisions programmers to make the package offering available to Apple TV owners.
Over the past 30-45 days, Apple has also added several additional channels to the existing lineup, including CBS Sports, USA NOW, HBO NOW and NBC Sports in a possible effort to start gearing up for a much larger option. Currently, a majority of the Apple TV top content providers, such as ABC, CBS, ESPN and FX, all require existing cable network subscriptions with the likes of Time Warner Cable, Cox and Comcast. If Apple releases its own service, it is rumored that users will simply have the ability to subscribe with their existing iTunes account and pay for only the services of their choosing. In theory, this potentially opens a la carte capabilities that could be mirrored across all iOS devices.
Further backing the rumor is Time Warner’s CEO, Jeffrey Bewkes, who recently said that he is “pretty confident” that Apple will launch a streaming TV service in the near future. While the statement may be unfounded, Bewkes would certainly have proximity to high level conversations from connected media moguls with insider information, placing a lot of rumor faith in a single person.
Apple TV shipping estimates have also slipped to 1-2 weeks, further substantiating at least a hardware refresh. A dwindling supply chain is almost always a sure sign Apple is selling off remaining stock and clearing way for new hardware.
The Apple TV remote has also received heat over the years from its users, and has remained unchanged since inception. A recent report from The New York Times claims the new Apple TV will feature a new touch-based remote – an interaction that is much preferred to the 3-buttoned option that currently comes with Apple TV. However, today’s users can download a Remote app for iPhone and Apple Watch, which gives the ability to control their Apple TV through touch-based screens. Needless-to-say, a touch interface will create a much more engaging interaction experience with apps on the alleged new Apple TV.
Regardless of the rumor mill, all answers may become fact during WWDC, which starts on June 8. In less than four weeks, Apple may finally release details about its oldest device, other than iPod Touch. Look for a smaller package, higher processor and hopefully a new streaming TV service that will allow fans to finally cut those cords!