The iPad Accessory That Will Kill Apple TV

We are certainly not alone to think that Apple could well be on its way to eliminate the Apple TV completely, a device that seems to be more a distraction than a proper project from the wizz kids of Cupertino.

The digital media receiver, as Apple calls it, which was launched back in September 2006, still runs on some pretty rudimentary hardware that makes it look more like a set top box rather than a proper smart device that's its supposed to be.

After Apple yanked the 40GB model last year, only the 160GB version was left on the shelf with a steep tag price of £223 which in all fairness is a bit steep for a device that can only play content from one online store, iTunes, let alone record any other.

Which brings us to this article's theme. Nine months ago, we wrote an article called "Apple Planning £99 iPhone Wireless HDMI Base Unit?" as part of our April fool series although we secretly hoped that Apple would sooner or later embrace this idea.

The title says it all, why not introduce a multi function base unit that could replace the Apple TV and, in one go, provide with a compelling reason to buy Apple's iPad. Not only that, it would also be able to sync downloaded/recorded content to the iPad seamlessly and wirelessly.

Should Apple manage to strike a Netflix-like partnership with the TV networks or the cable majors, then one can envisage a dumbed down "Apple TV-eqsue" accessory that could be used as a wireless charger for the iPad and a digital PVR at the same time, all for around £150.

The possibilities are endless. For one, you wouldn't need to buy any accessories outright to play telly. The iPad could be used as the base unit with the Apple TV Lite being used as a docking station and your iPhone or iPod Touch (or if you don't have one, the iPad will do) finding itself reduced to a remote control.

In addition, it would provide Apple with yet another major potential revenue stream in a similar fashion to the iPhone. Like Virgin Media or most content providers, content like TV shows may either be purchased, rented or consumed as part of a subscription.

Analysts at Telecom, Technology and media analyst firm Gerson Lehman Group, argue that Apple could potentially take on the likes of Comcast having now brought together the other piece of the puzzle; which makes sense when you consider the above arguments.

There are a number of questions that would still need to be answered. At what price would Apple sell the device? Should Apple sell it as a standalone device or an iPad accessory? How dependent should it be on the iPad? Will Apple wait until iTunes absorbs Lala's DNA before rolling out this integrated content management approach?