Apple is expected to host a special event to introduce new products for music and television, including a 99-cent TV show rental service, as well as new iPods, reports “MacRumors” (http://www.macrumors.com).
Rumors have it that the revamped Apple TV may be redubbed the iTV, cost US$99 and would allow users to stream video, such as rentals, to their TV sets. Customers currently can pay to download electronic copies of many cable and broadcast shows, often for $1.99 each for the standard version, to view on iPhones, the iPad, Apple TV or other devices.
Kaufman Brothers analyst Shaw Wu told clients in a note on Wednesday that the revamped Apple TV would move to an ARM architecture processor running the same iOS software that powers the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. The current version uses an Intel x86-based chip, running a “light” version of Mac OS X and its Front Row software.
“Bloomberg” (http://macosg.me/2/rn) says the 99-cent rentals will help Apple fend off rivals such as Netflix and Hulu. Viewers will reportedlly be able to rent programs from News Corp.’s Fox for 48 hours, said their sources, “who declined to be identified because the discussions aren’t public.” CBS Corp., NBC Universal and Walt Disney also are in talks about joining the effort, adds “Bloomberg.”
Meanwhile, “The Wall Street Journal” (http://macosg.me/2/ro) says Apple TV show rental proposal is facing at least some resistance from big TV companies, including CBS Corp., General Electric Co.’s NBC Universal, and Viacom.
“Media companies are weighing the potential revenue they would make if more people paid for TV shows on iTunes against the dangers of eroding their business on traditional TV,” says the “Journal.” “But they don’t want to be left behind as viewers spend more time online.”
And, as “TechRadar” (http://macosg.me/2/rp) notes, there remains doubts about a subscription model, with television companies still making huge amounts of cash from reselling their content — whether it’s on DVD and Blu-ray or to broadcast platforms such as cable and satellite.
The scuttlebutt also says that Apple will unveil a new iPod touch with a FaceTime camera at the Sept. 7 event.