The first reviews of Apple TV are starting to come in, with a few issues ironed out and no huge surprises. With a price set at only $99 and all the media excitement that is sure to follow any Apple release, the remainder of 2010 is going to be a very interesting period for Apple TV and the entire new online TV world.
While the $99 price tag is certainly very appealing, Apple are facing a lot of competition with this product. As well as forthcoming Logitech and Sony products that will offerGoogle TV, there is also the Boxee Box product and a refreshed range of Roku media boxes to hit the shelves as well. The Roku boxes are likely to provide very healthy competition for Apple, with two options available at the even cheaper prices of $59 and $79.
However, while Roku are offering a Hulu Plus subscription service and the ability for users to rent and purchase titles from Amazon, they are mostly unknown in the wider community and lack the huge brand advantage of the Apple badge. When this branding comes into play, along with Apple TV compatibility with existing iOS products like the iPhone and iPad – Apple are going to be very hard to compete with.
One other advantage for Apple TV is the AirPlay app, which is an evolution on the Apple Remote that allows for seamless downloading and TV control from other iOS devices. Despite a few early reports however, the details of just how AirPlay works remain sketchy. For example, we do not know whether content is beamed directly from other devices or is “passed on” to Apple TV via a cloud-based online source.
It looks like we will have to wait until November until the full reviews start coming in, and in that time frame lots of things could change. Both the new Google TV products from Sony and Logitech and the $200 Boxee set may become available during that time, making this upcoming holiday period very exciting for both Apple TV and the entire new online TV industry.