After years of promises to revamp the TV experience, Apple is reportedly prepared to launch its long-awaited new TV-device by the end of the summer.
Since 2009, Apple has taken a special interest in television, and has frequently said that viewers are currently having an out-of-date experience when it comes to watching TV. Tim Cook, the company’s CEO, described it as being “stuck in the seventies” and vouched that Apple would bring the future into television.
Apple plans to unveil a new updated version of its set-top streaming box at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) scheduled to take place in early summer. Besides the update, the iPhone giant said it will add a software development package that will enable the set-top box to gain access to App-Store.
Apple is thought to have the new device reflect its vision about how the TV experience should be like. Many analysts believe the company’s main objective is to obtain a share on a market that already includes stern competition from the likes of Amazon and Roku.
Some say however that the new overhauled TV device is just another step in Apple’s plan to take over people’s living rooms with its large array of complementary gadgets. By adding television to an offer that already includes music, apps and intelligent home devices, Apple intends to turn our free time home activities into a full digital experience.
Apple TV is for the moment the only streaming device known to be supporting the fresh HBO Now feature, due to be launched next month, which should give an edge over its competitors. The set-top box has also seen a significant discount recently, from $99 to $69, and it reportedly registered sales of more than 25 million units.
This marks a new trend in Apple’s strategy, which seems to be focusing more on television now than it used to in former CEO Steve Jobs’ days. The Apple co-founder never thought of television as more than a hobby, and this seems to reflect in the low attention the company has given to Apple TV since it first launched it, in 2007.
Another strategy Apple has in plan is to get involved in partnerships with large media companies like Fox, ABC and CBS in order to offer Apple TV customers exclusive streaming of their programs.
Hardware improvements will nonetheless be added to the new set-top box. Better storage capabilities than the current 8GB will be implemented, as well as a design overhaul for the device carcass. Even Siri, Apple’s voice control feature, might be included.