Blog Post

Further Proof Apple TV Apps Are Coming

Image courtesy of iFixit.

iFixit did one of its legendary tear-downs today — analyzing the hardware of a freshly-shipped Apple TV (s AAPL) — and guess what they found? 8 GB of Flash storage. Apple hasn’t publicly revealed how much Flash storage the device is packing, mostly because it’s marketed as a streaming media player.

Users are supposed to rent streams straight from Apple or play back local content from their Mac or PC, with an option to stream videos straight from an iPad coming in November. But they’re not supposed to hoard these files on their Apple TV.

So why would the device have 8 GB of storage? For apps, of course. Eight GB isn’t all that much if you want to store HD video files, but it’s plenty to save apps. In fact, most iPhone app developers try to keep their apps under 10 MB, because anything larger would have to be downloaded via Wi-Fi, as opposed to through AT&T’s (s T) 3G network. Apple TV app developers obviously won’t have to deal with constraints like these, but the current iPhone / iPad app space shows you can do plenty with very little.

iFixit also found there is space for another Flash memory chip for future models. Furthermore, the hardware of the Apple TV is remarkably similar to that of the iPad, featuring the same processor, Flash memory chip and Wi-Fi chip set.

This means the Apple TV is technically capable of running apps similar to those currently available on the iPad, especially given that the Apple TV does, in fact, seem to run the same OS as the iPad. Members of the jailbreak community were able to confirm yesterday that Apple TV runs a flavor of iOS 4.1.

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20 Responses to “Further Proof Apple TV Apps Are Coming”

  1. If you go to the Samsung Nand Flash Code web site and decode the NAND MEM PN (as shown on the IC), it’s an 8×8, 64GB part in a ULGA pkg. I’ve seen a couple of web sites say it’s 8GB. How did they decipher that it’s 8GB?

    By the way, I purchased the Apple TV a few days ago along with a Apple Extreme -n Wireless router. Very nice product combo. Can’t wait to see what else they can do with it.

  2. Shock Me

    Capability is not the same as intention. While I agree it is likely, there are several counter examples. Apple could have made the previous Apple TV which runs an earlier version of Mac OS X and run Mac games and sold it with a wireless keyboard and game pad. Apple could have made the iPhone a wireless hotspot but it didn’t.

    The storage is there for the OS and the streaming buffer. The Apple TV will not run 3rd party apps in addition to NetFlix until a touch capable remote or game controller is shipped with it.

      • They will release a ATV OS that runs apps and accesses the App Store sometime next year.
      • iPhones, iPads, iTouches, and possibly new standalone controllers will be used to control the games.
      • Accelerometers will allow these controllers to act similarly to Wii remotes for a generation of games.
      • Most games and apps already available in the App Store that are designed for iPhones & iPads will probab;y not be compatible with the ATV, although using AirPlay, the user can project their gameplay onto the TV.
      • Other games may be designed to work with the ATV and iPhone displays, similar to the way Scrabble works with the iPad and iPhone.
      • Many apps can be repurposed easily for the ATV, such as news, weather, shopping, cooking, magazine, music, and lifestyle apps.
      • New apps may be developed with video content and possible subscription options. Imagine an Entourage (or whatever)app that you can open to watch episodes, extras, as well as related news and social media.
      • Other apps for home automation and security would be perfect for the ATV.
      • Apple will open the ATV so that Bluetooth keyboards compatible with the iPad will work with the ATV.

      These are just a few reasons that Apple will open the ATV up to apps.

      Additionally, likes to watch competitors and then leapfrog them. Releasing just some of this functionality will put GoogleTV and others to shame.

  3. giovanni1975

    “anything larger would have to be downloaded via Wi-Fi, as opposed to through AT&T’s 3G network.”

    Forgive me for complaining off-topic but I am getting sick of reading references to AT&T. This is a blog, isn’t it? On the web? I don’t live in the US and couldn’t care less about AT&T. Is this blog aimed solely at Americans living in America? I would hope not. So please stop referencing your shitty iPhone carrier in these articles because it just illustrates how inward-looking and US-centric you are.

  4. In fact, most iPhone app developers try to keep their apps under 10 MB, because anything larger would have to be downloaded via Wi-Fi, as opposed to through AT&T’s 3G network.

    ATT and Apple changed the 3G limit to 20 MB a while ago.

  5. 8GB of Flash memory is hardly “proof” of an App store. This is further speculation.

    8GB of flash costs Apple like what, $2? It would be silly to release the Apple TV w/o storage. iTunes rentals are good for 24hrs…. it makes sense to have some cache memory space.

    • Beg your pardon. A $2 BoM uplift in a $69 (or even $99) device is big, and no device maker would spend that money if it is not absolutely needed. So, I do believe that there must be good reasons behind this and apps is probably one of them.

      The only other possibility is that apple is reusing their designs from other devices – or is buying components in bulk and the cost uplift for this Flash is marginal (much much lesser than $2).