The long-awaited new version of Apple TV is finally arriving on store shelves, and while some reviewers say the device could revolutionize the television industry, Apple's visionary leader, Steve Jobs, gave Apple TV a conspicuously low-key introduction. He called it "one more hobby," suggesting that the company expects only moderate success, not an iPhone-scale triumph. Is Apple TV just another toy for video lovers, or is Jobs underplaying the threat it poses to cable television? (Watch a review of Apple TV)
This could be the start of a TV revolution: Jobs neglected to mention an "arsenal of stealth features," says Brian X. Chen at Wired, or the fact that Apple TV runs iOS, the same operating system behind some of the company's biggest hits, the iPhone and iPad. Now that Apple TV has been revamped into a streaming rental service... maybe Apple has a chance to change the TV business" after all.
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Apple TV is no game-changer: Apple TV has its strong points — it is easy to use, and at $99 it's certainly affordable, says Joshua Topolsky at Engadget. But Apple has an awfully "thin list of partners" providing streaming content to rent. "If you just want a dead simple movie rental box and you're not that picky about content, the Apple TV is a no-brainer." But for a demanding video lover, Apple's new box is indeed still just a "hobby" that's nowhere near "good enough to make you can the cable."
It is up to Apple sell people on Apple TV: "The new Apple TV is very promising," says Clayton Morris at Fox News. It is small and fast, and it connects seamlessly to both the iTunes library and Netflix. Apple will have to keep making it better by adding more programming — ABC and Fox are on board with 99-cent TV-show rentals, but CBS and NBC are still "waiting on the sidelines." But "the last version [of Apple TV] was so buried in stores that Indiana Jones couldn't have found it" — and if Apple doesn't try harder to sell the new version, it will be forgotten, too.
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