Apple is likely to unveil a new version of its Apple TV platform, renamed Apple iTV, as early as next month and we're betting on a completely revamped model which abandons the x86 platform for an ARM-based solution.
This would allow Apple to benefit from improved economies of scales, having already three other platforms on ARM (iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone) and it would make it easier as well to develop apps for a single ecosystem; our first guess is that Apple will switch to iOS.
Doing so will help make the Apple iTV even more sleeker, possibly with a smaller form factor. The device will be constrained by the the size of the connectors and ports and although the set top box may shed a few millimetres out of its 28mm height, the decrease in volume should come from the footprint, expect it to be halved as the hard disk drive disappears.
Rumours point to less storage, which means that the iTV will be expected to be a hybrid streaming machine, which support the idea that Apple will soon adopt a cloud-based iTunes solution to deliver content. 8GB, 16GB and 32GB versions of the Apple iTV are not completely out of the picture.
We've been expecting the Apple iTV to become a vital iPhone peripheral in the lounge for the past two years. It is surprising that Apple hasn't added an iPod/iPhone connector to any of its devices given the fact that competitors like Sony and Philips already have docks. One could envisage that the iTV would be used to charge the iPhone, stream content from it wirelessly or even use it as a remote control.
Our last prediction is that the Apple iTV will be greener than its predecessor because of the hardware switch. Because it won't have a hard disk drive and will use Cortex A4, it is likely to sip power. Apple will also put forward the fact that it is using less material to build the iTV.
What are your expectation about the Apple TV? Have you ever considered buying one?