Apple Kills 40GB Apple TV, Lowers Price of 160GB Model

Apple TVLike a ninja assassin, Apple (s AAPL) sneakily killed off the 40 GB model of its Apple TV set-top box and shaved a hundred bucks off the price of its 160GB model last night, reports The bulkier 160GB flavor is now $229 (the price of the old 40GB model). But will this stimulus package for the Apple TV be enough?

Getting rid of the low-end model isn’t too much of a surprise. As our sister site The Apple Blog writes:

At the beginning of the month, AppleInsider reported Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster noting long wait times for the 40GB model, resulting in predictions of a minor upgrade at the then rumored Apple event.

In today’s high-definition world, 40GB just isn’t a lot of storage, especially when Apple still requires you to purchase (not rent) TV programs. An entire season of Mad Men in HD ain’t teeny. And if you’re into buying movies as well…fuggedaboutit. But between powerhouses like Netflix (s NFLX) and Amazon (s AMZN) popping up on your Blu-ray players and TV sets, the future seems to belong to streaming — not downloading.

Apple has continually referred to its set-top box as a “hobby,” and the lack of innovation/care given to the platform has had us scratching our heads over what the heck was going on with the Apple TV. As we’ve written before, Steve Jobs & Co. aren’t stupid. They must see the changes happening in the living room (and the potential dollar signs that go along with it), but Apple’s inaction has opened the door for other rivals to get a foothold in the living room.

Hopefully this cleaning house is paving the way for something much bigger/better/faster/stronger.

If you are interested in seeing what the future of set-top boxes are, be sure to attend our upcoming NewTeeVee Live conference in November. Roku CEO Anthony Wood is speaking along with Matt McRae, the VP and GM of Advanced Platforms for Vizio, and many more to be announced. Get your early bird discount tickets now.