Apple Store“Apple Inc. forges into new territory and takes on a new pack of competitors next month as it begins to sell its Apple TV set-top box,” Ellen Lee reports for The San Francisco Chronicle.

Lee reports, “Available in February for $299, Apple TV is a set-top box that can wirelessly beam music, photos and videos from your computer to your living room television and home entertainment center.”

“Over the past five years, people have downloaded 2 billion songs, 50 million television shows and 1.3 million movies through the iTunes online store. They have also transferred untold millions of tunes from their CD collections to their computers. They’ve then used iTunes to organize all of it and move it to their iPod so they can take it wherever they go,” Lee reports. “As Apple’s logic goes, why not make it possible to move the same music and movies into the living room?”

Lee reports, “While not novel — consumer-electronics-makers have already been selling similar media adapters and television set-top boxes for the past few years — Apple TV is poised to help consumers truly access their content whenever and wherever they want it. It could also energize a new way for people to get their entertainment fix, downloading it via the Internet instead of buying DVDs. Apple Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs went so far as to call Apple TV the ‘DVD player for the 21st century.'”

Lee reports, “With an already developed following from the iPod, Apple TV starts the race with an edge. Apple also has an advantage with its Apple retail stores, where its employees can evangelize the concept to customers. And it has a reputation for making products that are easy to pick up and use. According to Gene Munster, an analyst with Piper Jaffray, the Apple TV is the best-selling product on Apple’s Web site, which has begun taking orders.”

Full article here.

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