Apple event expected to focus on iPhones, TV revamp

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SAN FRANCISCO: Apple is expected to unveil updated iPhones on  Wednesday along with an Apple TV revamp that may signal a push into online television streaming dominated by Netflix.

Apple remained mum even as rumors ran rampant about what is in store at the San Francisco media event.

In trademark enigmatic style, invitations provided little more than the time and place of the event, to be held at the spacious Bill Graham Civic Auditorium near city hall.

A line on the invite reads: “Hey Siri, give us a hint,” led many to believe that virtual assistant software Siri, which is built into Apple devices, will help people find shows or movies on Apple TV.

Apple TV is also believed to be getting its own App Store, which will be open to outside developers who can make games and other content for it.

The third-generation Apple TV was introduced slightly more than three years ago. The California-based company long downplayed Apple TV as a “hobby” after the original version was released in 2007.

“They are finally revisiting their hobby, the Apple TV,” said Forrester analyst Frank Gillett.

Apple is dabbling in the idea of making online television programming in a move that would challenge established players such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, according to a recent report in show business magazine Variety.

“There is a definite movement toward cord cutting, and Apple is in position to do that,” said Gartner analyst Van Baker.

“They have the premium content lined up, so the real differentiator is to bring network television to the platform.”

“Original programming is the only solution to Apple’s biggest problem in the video world: nobody wants to sell Apple content rights,” said Forrester analyst James McQuivey.

“After watching what happened to the music business when Apple was given the keys to the kingdom, video producers and programmers are more than gun-shy about handing the same power to Apple in the world of TV shows.”

Apple became a power to be reckoned with in digital music sales due to the popularity of its mobile devices and iTunes online shop. — AFP


This article first appeared in digitaledge Daily, on September 7, 2015.