Apple TV to take centre stage at Apple WWDC

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By Larry Banks

On Tuesday, Apple announced that its annual developers’ conference, WWDC, will take place between June 8th – 12th at the Moscone Centre, San Francisco.

But the curious thing is the artwork for the event, which suggests that Apple will choose the venue to unveil a next-gen Apple TV set-top-box.

New Apple TV in June

“I usually don’t play the ‘let’s read into the design of the Apple event announcement’ game, but damned if the center of this doesn’t look like an Apple TV”, says long time Apple writer John Gruber.

“And the slogan — ‘The Epicenter of Change’ — would fit with an expanded HomeKit role for Apple TV.”

The logo for the event is shown below – note the rounded rectangle in the middle.


Now here’s the current Apple TV, which has exactly the same shape:

Apple TV

It’s no surprise that Apple is considering moving into the living room with more purpose, as CEO Tim Cook has spoken for years about the company’s interest in TV.

In September last year, here’s what he said in an interview with Charlie Rose:

Cook: A TV is one that we continue to have great interest in.

Rose: [laughs]

Cook: I choose my words carefully there. TV is one of those things that, if we’re really honest, it’s stuck back in the ’70s. Think about how much your life has changed and all the things around you that have changed. And yet, TV — when you go in your living room to watch the TV or wherever it might be, it almost feels like you’re rewinding the clock and you’ve entered a time capsule, and you’re going backwards. The interface is terrible.

Rose: Yes.

Cook: I mean, it’s awful. And you watch things when they come on unless you remember to record them.

Rose: So, why don’t you fix that?

Cook: Well, you know, I don’t want to get into what we’re doing in the future. But we’ve taken steps with Apple TV. And Apple TV now has over 20 million users. It has far exceeded the hobby label that we that we placed on it. And we’ve added more content to it this year. There’s increasingly more things that you can do on there. But this is an area that we continue to look at.

So it looks finally like Apple is about ready to do more than just talk about TV.

Here’s a similar interpretation of the invite:

Apple WWDC Invite Interpretation

And in March, John Paczkowski at BuzzFeed News reported that Apple plans a “significant overhaul” of Apple TV, getting more storage and a faster chip, plus its own App Store.

Also in March, The Wall Street Journal claimed that Apple was planning its own web-based TV streaming service, which won’t launch until later in the year. Also that month, Cook told CNBC that the three main markets for Apple to attack in future were the home, the car, and health. The Apple TV, which occupies the living room, is pretty much the perfect device for an assault on the home.

Apple’s ad “the epicenter of change” then seems to indicate that it has huge plans for the Apple TV that go far beyond television.

Images Courtesy of DepositPhotos