“In a company first, Jobs introduced a product that isn’t immediately available—the iTV. Plus: a movie-download service and updated iPods. Apple Computer Chief Executive Steve Jobs made a few out-of-character moves as he unveiled a slate of new products on Sept. 12. For starters, he left the trademark black mock turtleneck at home, instead donning a black button-down. The real shocker, though, was Apple’s decision to tout a product months before it’s due to hit the market,” Arik Hesseldahl reports for BusinessWeek.
MacDailyNews Note: It’s not a “company first.” It happens all the time, in fact it even happened today with the new iPod shuffle due in October. It’s happened with Macs several times in the past and with upcoming Mac OS X versions every time. The reason Jobs pre-announced “iTV” so far in advance, in our opinion, was to freeze purchases of such things as Media Center PCs this holiday season. We think it’ll accomplish that task quite nicely.
Hesseldahl continues, “Apple made what can only be called a highly unusual move for a company that forbids employees from even speculating publicly about forthcoming products. Jobs unveiled the iTV, a product he’s hoping will bridge the chasm between those movie downloads and the TV set in the living room. Thing is, it won’t be available until early 2007. When released, it will sell for $299.”
“Where Apple is going—or hopes to go—is territory that rivals have so far failed to conquer. Apple says iTV is capable of moving music, movies, and other content from a computer to a television, or another entertainment device. This would be done using wireless technology—probably some variant of wireless fidelity, although Apple didn’t explain further,” Hesseldahl reports. “Microsoft has made attempts with its Media Center PCs in conjunction with Hewlett-Packard although the combination hasn’t truly succeeded in getting entertainment off the PC. Intel has also made noise about its own entertainment PC concept called VIIV (rhymes with “five”) but little has been heard about the initiative in recent months.”
“Apple seems to be betting that it can teach the motion picture studios the same lesson it taught the movie [sic] industry: Marry the device and the content in a harmonious ecosystem with a simple price structure, and consumers will flock,” Hesseldahl writes.
MacDailyNews Note: Ignore Hesseldahl’s Freudian slip. Substitute “music” and/or “TV shows” for “movie” in his sentence above.
Hesseldahl continues, “One important question left lingering about iTV was exactly how the device will work. Jobs said it will use some variant of wireless networking known as IEEE 802.11, and Apple already has some history with this technology. It was early to deliver Wi-Fi networking products under its Airport brand. But Jobs also said that the iTV will support HDTV video content. That implies the device will use a version of Wi-Fi that is faster and more advanced than the prevailing standard (802.11g), which tops out at data transmission speeds of 54 megabits per second (Mbps).”
“The next iteration of that technology, 802.11n, will boost the data speed to above 200 Mbps, and perhaps as high as 540 Mbps. That would be fast enough to support a high-definition stream, but it isn’t expected to be approved until 2008,” Hesseldahl writes. “Meanwhile, companies such as Netgear, Linksys, and D-Link have been pressing ahead selling gear that is based on competing iterations of early versions of the standard. For Apple, pressing ahead with Wi-Fi technology before it becomes a ratified standard is nothing new—the Airport Extreme line of products used 802.11g before that standard was ratified.”
Full article here.
Steve Jobs gives sneak peek of Apple’s “iTV” wireless set-top box:
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