The idea of putting iPhone apps on the Apple TV has been something some of us have been thinking about since at least 2008, when the original App Store launched. When rumors were swirling about Google TV, it became an even better idea as the living room was likely to be a new battleground for Apple/Google. And with the unveiling of Google TV last week, it became clear that this would be a next major fight — provided Apple started taking it seriously. Soon, they will be, if Engadget’s sources are correct.
The gadget blog says that a tip they’ve since confirmed with “a source very close to Apple” suggests that Apple has been working on the next version of the Apple TV. The goods according to them: it will be a very small box (smaller than the current one) with perhaps only outputs for power and TV-out cables. It will run on Apple’s new A4 chip (the one found in the iPad and soon the new iPhone). It will still do 1080p video, but may have as little as 16GB of flash memory. That’s because the thing will be based around streaming over the cloud (or from other computers in your home) rather than local storage. Most significantly, it will run the iPhone OS.
Basically, it’s an “iPhone without a screen,” is how Engadget hears it. Oh — and it will cost only $99, supposedly.