Steve Jobs has been quoted as saying that the Apple TV is a “hobby”.  Well, it appears that this “hobby” is starting to take on a role that will make Steve Jobs’ quote passé.  For people who are not familiar with what the Apple TV does, here is a quick explanation.  The Apple TV acts as a bridge between your computer and your TV.  It can sync or stream media content from your computer to your TV.  In addition, it can stream rented movies from the iTunes Store.  It appears that Apple’s “hobby” is receiving a major upgrade.

Electronista details what the new Apple TV will be:

“While the NYT wasn’t certain what the product would be, the device is expected to largely be an iPhone 4-sized box with an A4 processor and 16GB of storage that would focus on streaming rather than local caching. Although smaller and just $99, it would be more powerful and could support 1080p video.”

If this is what the hardware and software turns out to be, it will be a welcomed upgrade in my opinion.  The current Apple TV is running a stripped down version of OS X; while it is suitable for what it can currently do, I would like to see it running Apple’s iOS.  As for the storage, I would normally squawk at 16GB, but my Apple TV has 40GB, and I’m only using about 10GB of it.  This new device is meant for streaming and not storage, which leads me to the processor.  The A4 processor is an excellent processor that is in the iPad and now in the iPhone 4.  If it performs half as well as it does on these devices, it will make the current Apple TV look like a G3 Mac.

Is competition from the likes of Sony, Microsoft, and now Google in the living room arena pushing Apple to turn their “hobby” into a strong competitor in this market?  I would have to say yes.  Personally, I am glad that there are these other devices out there that are pushing Apple to get off of their laurels.  Competition is good for everyone, even the consumer.

Photo Credit: Apple TV

Article Via electronista

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