updated 10:05 am EST, Fri January 11, 2008
New Apple TV speculation
A new version of the Apple TV will help spearhead an Apple video offensive, a new report claims. BusinessWeek writes that it has learned of the new set-top with certainty, although it cannot say what particular features it will bring. Other reports have indicated that users may be able to buy or rent videos directly from the device, which would address one of its long-standing complaints and put it into competition with the video-on-demand services provided by cable and satellite companies.
Apple believes it is in desperate need of a new approach to video, according to the report. Video sales form only 19 percent of its iTunes sales, and an even smaller amount compared to the video industry as a whole. To that end Apple is looking not only to begin video rentals through iTunes, but to have more new releases available, beyond just those from Disney. Apple CEO Steve Jobs sits on Disney's board of directors.
BusinessWeek claims that deals have already been cemented with Disney and 20th Century Fox, though their release intervals for rentals will not be the same. Separate deals are said to be near completion for Warner Bros. and Paramount, while Lionsgate may be willing to rent videos, but will not sell its newest titles. Sony and Universal, active rivals to Apple, are said to be "unlikely" to support Apple's video efforts. Some details Apple has ready are expected to be announced during the January 15th Macworld keynote.