When Will ‘Santa’ Jobs Deliver the iTV?

Three months ago in San Francisco, Steve Jobs did his “One last thing…” trick and the prototype Apple has codenamed the iTV emerged from behind the curtain. The world was assured they could get their grubby hands on them in the first quarter of 2007. Well, no iTVs showed up under any trees, but Mac fans know to wait for Steve to deliver the presents at MacWorld in two weeks.

itv_back.jpgThe Macworld rumor mill is “spinning up like a carnival vomitron reaching its apex” as usual, but is centered around the announcement of an Apple phone as well as some possible monitor upgrades. As for iTV, as one analyst points out, at the rumored specs and price of $299 it’s not much cheaper than a Mac Mini, with a lot less functionality.

Of course, Steve could always surprise us. Announcing 802.11n support in new iMacs and Minis, or a content and software partnership with YouTube/Google would go a long way to making the iTV the key component to the Mac Media Home. But unless there’s a drastic reduction in the proposed price, it feels like an expensive update of the Airport Express, which I don’t see having the game-changing mass appeal of the iPod, or before that, TiVo.

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