Next Apple TV to adopt iPhone OS, cloud storage, $99 price

Apple TV should run iPhone OS concept

If rumors are to be believed, the next Apple TV is going to adopt the iPhone OS, eschew local drives for cloud storage, and hit a $99 price point.

TiPb's been wondering out loud about putting the iPhone OS on the Apple TV for a while now, so obviously we're excited to hear that may be on the table. Sure, figuring out how to translate the current multitouch input methods of the iPad and iPhone to something that works on a 60" from 10' away but having Safari and apps and games on the platform will be more than worth the effort.

I typically stream to my current Apple TV and never use the hard drive on the machine, so the idea of streaming from or whatever cloud-solution Apple eventually rolls out is compelling. Obviously it will require some local storage to cache data for a smooth user experience, and users should be able to keep a copy of the things they buy if they so choose (sorry Hollywood).

$99 price? That starts to be mainstream... or would if it could replace DVR boxes and set top boxes. As it is, sitting on top of another box (or several) still makes it a tad complex for average users. Cable and satellite providers won't be giving up control of their content or experience any time soon, however, so at least cheap mitigates that for now.

And no, it's reportedly been in the pipeline for a while so it's not a response to Google TV -- though the sudden leak of information about it certainly might be...

Want one?


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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Next Apple TV to adopt iPhone OS, cloud storage, $99 price


Only reason i never got one was price, if it goes that cheap, it will be a no brainer :D
Love your site, it is my new daily stop for apple gozzzzzzip! :D

I have one of the current ones. It is nice, I don't like the cloud concept though, if I buy it, I want it here, no need for internet just to watch something I already have. The cloud thing is for the birds, it's nice to access from other places, but who is going to really be doing all that, when you watch something that you own, you don't want to depend on it being available through your broadband connection, which isn't very reliable at times.
Just my old school 2cents.

Just think about being able to access your media library away from home, whether it be on vacation, a daily commute, whatever. Being able to access your library at any time is what it is all about. For example, my daily commute involves a 1hr bus ride to and from work. I would love to be able to access my media (movies, etc) from the cloud. It would be great being able to start a movie on the bus, come home, then finish off the movie in the exact location when I get home.
Best place to start is ;)

While $99 moves this close to an impulse buy for many of us, it is too early to tell from these rumors if it would be worth it. Having yet another box with another set of walled-off content, as well as its own interface and remote, just does not seem that interesting. If the content is right, and more/exclusive than Netflix or other more "open" multiple box competitors, it could be a hit.
From the scant rumors, this seems more like a response to Roku and Boxee; much like how the iPod struck mainstream gold by copying and refining the Nomad and earlier MP3 players, the new Apple TV is attempting to copy those earlier geek-popular products (as well as its own struggling Apple TV) with enough extra polish to push them through to the mainstream.

At that price point it becomes worth considering - especially if they begin to add the same apps that they did for the iPad like Netflix and ones from the networks. Add Hulu and ESPN 360 or 3 (whatever they call it now) and then this begins to make real sense. All of this comes to fruition then cable should really worry.

Hook a cheap PC along with a wireless kb/mouse up to tv. Now you got itunes, amazon, netflix, hulu, tv network sites, flash content, and any other digital media you have.
Both google and apple tv are goofy concepts at best. Too expensive and very limited in what they do.

@cardfan, the whole point of the tv boxtop devices is so that people who are not in the least bit savy with hooking a computer up to a tv can do it with ease. Of course it is another consumer buy in and way to spend your money. But I have purchased one for my parents in the past to hook up to their large theater which is two floors away from any computer or wired connections. Which makes a device like this or the future boxee box an ideal solution. They want to point click watch. Not surf the web, or the likes.
Now on the hand of more tech savvy people like yourself, a PC-to-TV solution is better because why surf the internet on a 20" monitor when you can do it on a 60" HDTV. I get that...

This would be great. I have a second AppleTV in an unopened box just waiting until I get another HDTV. Guess it's time to sell it before the new one comes out!

Where did you read/hear all this? I know AppleTV using iPhone OS has been rumored for a while, but where did you hear that it's a good possibility (beyond simple speculation) and where did you hear that it would be cloud based and have a $99 price tag?

Do you think they will offer a software upgrade for current Apple TV owners?
The new processor may prevent this.
If it does not, I would be easy tempted into buying a new Apple TV (maybe even a couple of them).

I have a current model Apple TV, and although I like it, it has been a little disappointing. The OS needs a major update, but I'm not sure that the iPhone OS is the way to go. iPhone OS is built for a touch interface, and I don't know a lot of people with multitouch television.
However, it would be AWESOME to have an App Store for the Apple TV. I'd love to have a Hulu app once Hulu opens up their business model to include for-pay services.

@Jason - "iPhone OS is built for a touch interface, and I don’t know a lot of people with multitouch television."
Well, what do you see when you run the current Apple TV? Front Row, not Mac OS X. Front Row is a Mac OS X app. It's bundled with Mac OS X and you can run it on your Mac.
It would take just a few little programming tweaks to get Front Row to run on iPhone OS on a big screen.

@Jason I forgot to say that you might see no difference between the Mac OS X Apple TV and the iPhone OS TV. Both could be controlled by the Apple Remote (or the Remote iPhone app.)

If it:
a) plays my DVD ISO-files from my NAS
b) is supported by a majority of the current media streaming iPhone apps (or at least Spotify and the streaming apps from the major TV channels)
c) allows third party commercial movie rental/streaming apps
d) supports external controllers and keyboards
I will stand in line to get one on the day it is released.

To solve the problem of the iPhone OS being touchscreen why don't they just make an app for the iPhone and iPad that would control your apple tv?problem solved.
I also would like to know if they are going to offer a software update for current Apple TV owners. I realize this is just based off of rumors so nobody can really know but is that part of the rumors?

I wish the AppleTV could natively play HD videos (.MKV) from the Mac and/or play DVDs... converting videos to H.264 (m4v/mov) is too much trouble. Not to mention adding subs (.srt)...

At that price I might get one for every TV in the house. Might have to get an extra TV for that matter. I don't even watch network TV any more- I just watch AppleTV.

@27 (a) because I don't want to buy a new TV
(b) because I don't want ads on my TV, that's why I use Apple TV and watch TV shows from DVD or iTunes store.

The only thong I don't like with apple tv is I only have choices coming from apple. Although I haven't hack my apple tv yet. So that being said. If the idevice is trull magical, why can't Poole just hook it up with their xx"inch tv to watch other contents.

I love my AppleTV and use it in lieu of cable or satellite and just buy seasons of shows I watch. My only complaint is that TV shows eat up a lot of HD space. I'd be more than happy to have at least part of them live in the clouds. Would be nice if they'd give an update to current owners. But that's not nature's way...(nature=Apple).
PS, put me on @dionte's Christmas list, too.

@GillouStyle- Handbrake.
Or I just use a DVD player. But I don't watch network tv live and don't think I'd watch GoogleTV.

Bryjer23 said:
"To solve the problem of the iPhone OS being touchscreen why don’t they just make an app for the iPhone and iPad that would control your apple tv?problem solved."
Threre is already an iPhone app that controls both your iTunes and Apple TV.