Apple is expected to introduce a new $99 version of its three-year old Apple TV set-top box at a San Francisco event on September 7, according to Bloomberg. While the current Apple TV has a HDD of only 160GB, Bloomberg heard the new device will have an even smaller model because Apple will shift its focus to letting people stream content from iTunes, with relatively inexpensive TV show rentals being one of the main points of focus.
The company is reportedly in talks with Fox, CBS, NBC Universal and Walt Disney to create a content model that enables Apple TV users to rent TV shows for 48 hours.
According to people familiar with Apple's plans, the goal is to make TV shows available on iTunes within 24 hours of their air dates at a cost of 99 cents per episode.
Viewers would be able to rent programs from News Corp.’s Fox for 48 hours, said the people, who declined to be identified because the discussions aren’t public. CBS Corp., NBC Universal and Walt Disney Co. -- where Apple Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs is a board member and the largest shareholder -- also are in talks about joining the effort, the people say.
The content deals would give Apple users access to some of the most-watched shows on TV and increase the appeal of its devices, including the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. Adding programming also would build on iTunes’ role as the biggest retailer of music and mobile applications, and help Apple ward off companies like Netflix, Amazon.com Inc. and Hulu, which offer their own online video services.
Additionally, Apple is also expected to present a new iPod touch on September 7. This new multimedia player is expected to include a higher-resolution retina displays, similar to the one found on the iPhone 4.