If Google TV runs off iPad-like chipset, could Apple TV?

Apple TV should run iPhone OS concept

TiPb's wondered out loud before about the prospect of the Apple TV joining the iPhone OS family and providing a better overall package than the current no browser, no apps, no pretty much anything exciting product that hasn't seen a hardware update since... almost ever.

Now with Google TV on the horizon, Fortune brings word that while the Android box will be running an Intel CPU it will be using the same GPU as the iPad (and iPhone 3GS) -- the PowerVR SGX.

PowerVR is owned by Imagination and both Apple and Intel have stakes in the company. With Google pushing into every one of Apple's businesses, is the living room something Apple's going to be willing to surrender, and if not, how will they push back?

Current Apple TV hardware runs a custom Mac OS X Tiger 10.4 OS on top of an Intel Pentium M 1GHz "Crofton" CPU and NVIDIA GeForce Go 7300 GPU which was low-end desktop kit a few years ago.

We're still loving the idea of a 1GHz Apple A4-family powered, next generation Apple TV with iPhone OS. That'll leave Google and Apple to compete as they usually do -- with Google giving away everything that doesn't make them money and offering diversity, and Apple focusing on a few core things and making the experience as user-friendly as possible.

Google TV could get built into every display and set-top box (though big media will freeze it out of interacting with any cable or satellite content stream, sorry VoD fans) and kinda sorta work for nerds willing to IR blast or harmonize their remotes. Apple TV could only work with iPods, iPhones, iPads, Macs and PCs but what content you have or Apple provides would be easy and seamless.

Which means both solutions would still be incredibly lacking, but given the restrictions Apple TV with iPhone OS would still be a lot more compelling -- and competitive -- than it is today.


Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

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+.

More Posts



← Previously

International iPads begin shipping!

Next up →

Groupon for iPhone - app review

Reader comments

If Google TV runs off iPad-like chipset, could Apple TV?


If they also make it so that we can use the usb port to add another hard drive without a hack, that would be great also.

Probably go straight to internet streaming before that ever happens, if that ever happens, over Hollywood's dead body do they let us ever do anything, you know, cool.

Rene didn't sound threatened to me. In fact it seemed he was knocking both, "Which means both solutions would still be incredibly lacking...".

There was nothing stopping Apple before form putting iPhoneOS on an AppleTV like device; they just chose not to. Possibly, existing AppleTVs could not run iPhoneOS, in which case we would just see a bifurcation like we did with iPod "Classic" and iPod Touch, though, since the "older" AppleTVs would have very little to recommend them, they would probably go extinct pretty quickly, in which case Apple might have to deal with some disgruntled early adopters.
But Google's choice of hardware has very little to to with Apple's choice (yoda voice) to "do...or do not."

"Apple TV could only work with iPods, iPhones, iPads, Macs and PCs but what content you have or Apple provides would be easy and seamless."
That's like saying, "you'll only get 3 channels but they're the good ones!"
But isn't that the problem? Apple's stuff only works on Apple's stuff. If they allowed Hitachi, Samsung, etc to incorporate Apple tech into their devices to deliver a seamless experience, I think they could not only make money but even corner the market.
The problem is Stevie's insistence on controlling any hardware his software goes on. And now the Google's let the horse out of the barn, there's no bringing it back in.

I don't see why not. Google TV doesn't process any of the video on TV, it just passes it through and overlays the browser stuff on top.
Maybe Steve Jobs could explain how Google TV can possibly process Flash on a mobile-like processor though :-0

Who cares about either products? Google Tv and Apple TV are ultimately worthless. especially since today PCs and Macs can be hooked up to your TV wirelessly. Meaning your Itunes Library or whatever is now viewable from your TV.
These products are niche products that have no real value since everything they provide is already provided by what you own. Not only that but if Console makers decide to hop on that boat which is likely due to how console makers want to get away from competing with the PCs in terms of graphics. Products such as Apple TV and Google TV will be dead.

Appletv on iPad hardware with app store and a decent controller would be awesome. iPad games would scale nicely and accelerometer based remote could control them. Or your ipodtouch or iPhone. Apple has to be thinking in this direction.

I guess I don't really get what Google TV is supposed to be doing for me.
Have to agree with Lollipopjones, I don't get Apple TV at all being how limited it is and Google TV just seems even stranger.
Of all the things to say I must state no one seems to even think of Microsoft in this area (not even them!). But Windows Media Center and an Xbox 360 are an extremely powerful combo.

Rene, you seem awfully bitter over google tv.
"... and kinda sorta work for nerds willing to IR blast or harmonize their remotes. "
It isn't even out yet, and you presume to know that this is the case? Why would something google clearly wants to go mainstream be like this? Especially if it is built into tvs? You seem bitter once more over another google innovation. Just be glad that Apple isn't the only innovator, please?
You used to be a pleasure to read, now you make me skip over your articles half the time from the hate and bitterness...

GoogleTV looks too much like the WebTV that we all used to laugh it. As expected, it's not even out yet (currently vaporware) and people are already calling it an Apple TV killer. Bloggers just love to hate on Apple.

@Janey sorry, but unless it has been a long while, you can hardly call GoogleTV Vaporware. Duke Nukem Forvever? Yes, that is vaporware (unfortunately). Please learn what vaporware is (it isn't just unreleased software, but unreleased and with no intentions of it being released).
And I love Apple TV. Sadly, for GoogleTV, there isn't anything there to kill. Out of all the people I know with tons of Apple products, very few (actually just me and my bf) have Apple TVs. It isn't hating for wanting something non-Apple to succeed every now and then, is it?

I'll choose Google TV, because apple has so many compititors, SAMSUNG, blackberry... (iphone 4, ipad). It's an astonishing phenomena that apple provide users the same content (services) as its compititors with itunes, And the video converter and dvd ripper are no bussiness of "apple" or "blackberry"(both can use them)...on free offline videos (you can get many free videos converter and dvd rippers which are working on windows and different with handbrake from aneesoft official website, but ifunia is should be paid for apple devices on mac). So I'll choose which can offer many of the entertainment sources online.

Everything is very open and incredibly clear explanation of issues. was truly information. Your internet site is very beneficial. Many thanks sharing.

I simply could not leave your site prior to suggesting that I actually loved the usual info an individual provide on your guests? Is gonna be again regularly in order to inspect new posts