Apple's own forays into media are set to increase Sept. 1, when the company
is widely expected to introduce new iPods and perhaps a revamped Apple TV
during a high-profile event in San Francisco.
Although Apple itself remains close-lipped about its plans, a recent report
from Bloomberg suggests the company is negotiating with content providers,
including CBS and News Corp., to offer television shows for rental via iTunes.
Should that rental scuttlebutt prove true, it would place Apple in
competition with Netflix.
Despite Apple Chief Operating Office Tim Cook's famous reference to Apple TV
as the company's "hobby" during a Goldman Sachs technology conference
in February, the tech industry's rising focus on the television as a digital
hub-notably, Google's announcement of its Google TV initiative-may persuade
Apple to make more aggressive moves in that particular market segment.
Other reports suggest that Apple's Sept. 1 event will focus on an iPod
refresh. Rumors of an updated iPod Touch, possibly with the FaceTime
video-conferencing feature, have been making the rounds for months.
"An iPhone parts supplier sent us these photos of what are claimed to
be the front LCD and bezel of the upcoming [fourth]-generation iPod Touch,"
an Aug. 5 posting on the MacRumors blog. "The new part clearly shows a
front-sided hole that would leave room for a front-facing FaceTime camera."
Yet more whispers have centered on touch-screen iPod Shuffles, iPads with
7-inch screens for either a late 2010 or early 2011 release, and
a fifth-generation iPhone possibly due in early 2011.
Whatever hardware emerges from Apple's event next week, though, chances are
it'll have the ability to stream Netflix content.
Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.