A rumor earlier this week suggested Apple could introduce new Apple TV hardware at its September 10th press event, but this story may turn out to be false. A new report from AllThingsD now claims that Apple will only unveil new software for the set-top device.
People familiar with the company’s plans told AllThingsD that Apple’s immediate focus is on software, not hardware. Apple said it would be bringing its iTunes Radio service to Apple TV and has been adding new content partners to its Apple TV platform over the past few months. Additional software features will likely be announced next week.
One possible change would allow customers to play content that had been purchased on other people’s Apple TV. You could purchase an episode of Breaking Bad on your Mac at home and then use your iPhone to play it back on a friend’s Apple TV. You can do that now, but it is a cumbersome process. You would have to change the iTunes account associated with the target Apple TV, which requires you to log out of the existing account and then login to your iTunes account. This rumored version would instantly work over AirPlay, so you wouldn’t have to change anybody’s iTunes accounts.
It’s disappointing to hear that we might not see new Apple TV hardware, at least not right away. The current model is more than 18 months old and is getting long in the tooth. I don’t know what is in the cards for the Apple TV, but I would love to see the hardware advance beyond a set-top box for iTunes and Netflix. I don’t have the optimism of Gene Munster, but I’ll keep my hopes up that Apple is working to revolutionize this space in the coming months. A girl can dream.