With the announcement of Google TV we are sure, now more than ever that the future of media lies in on demand IP TV. With just about every tech company lining up with boxes and software trying to pipe Internet content into the living room, the future promises some pretty fierce competition.
Regardless of what you think about Apple in general, they are currently in the unusual position of being the weakest player in this emerging new media category. The current $229 Apple TV with 160GB of storage is an abomination of overbearing DRM and extremely limited utility. If the rumors are correct however, an ARM based version for $99 running iPhone OS 4 might be just around the corner.
The story was first picked up by Engadget who claims that the source of the leak was "very close to Apple" and the box would even offer full 1080p streaming. It remains to be seen if consumers will ultimately warm up to the idea of an Internet appliance as a separate box, or if they will favor software solutions build into TV sets such as Google TV. If boxes are the future Apple still has its work cut out for it competing with the likes of Microsoft and Sony who sell millions of dual-purpose game consoles into households every year.
Does a revamped Apple TV stand a chance? Let us know what you think.