When Apple revealed its fourth-generation Apple TV device on Sept. 9 in a showy press event, it never gave an exact date for the launch of the long-awaited product. That missing information was just filled in by Apple CEO Tim Cook, who said that Apple TV orders will start Oct. 26, with shipments to begin later that week.
Cook made the announcement at a Wall Street Journal Digital Live conference on Oct. 19 in Laguna Beach, Calif., providing the final details for the emergence of what Apple hopes will be its most successful Apple TV launch so far, according to an Oct. 20 story in The Wall Street Journal.
The new version of Apple TV includes an improved remote, Siri integration, new capabilities for Apple Music, a new operating system, improved gaming and multiplayer options and more, according to earlier eWEEK reports. Apple TV now includes a 64-bit A8 processor and fast 802.11ac WiFi and will come in two versions—a 32GB model for $149 and a 64GB model for $199. The earlier Apple TV version will continue to be sold for $69.
Cook said at the conference that the latest Apple TV product will potentially change television viewing for consumers, the Journal story reported. Apple TV has "developed an infrastructure to fix [a] terrible broken thing that none of us like," Cook said about traditional broadcast television services. "The starting gun has been fired."
In an interview at the event, Cook also revealed that Apple Music, the company's subscription streaming music service that began June 30, now has 6.5 million paying customers and 8.5 million customers on free three-month trials, the Journal reported. Apple Music is $9.99 a month for an individual subscription or $14.99 a month for families. The first trial subscriptions were completed at the end of September.
Meanwhile, as the new Apple TV arrival approaches, online reports say that the company has now added several more channels to its Apple TV lineup, including NBC, CBS All Access and the Made to Measure (M2M) fashion channel.
When Apple TV does goes on sale soon, one place consumers won't be able to buy it is through Amazon.com. That's because the online retailer announced earlier in October that it will stop allowing the sale of Apple TV and Google Chromecast video streaming devices through its Website because the competing products don't offer access to Amazon's expanding video content to consumers.
Amazon apparently announced the move to its Amazon Marketplace sellers in an email that said that the devices would be dropped for sale because Apple TV and Chromecast don't "interact well" with Amazon's Prime Video services, according to an earlier eWEEK report.
Competing devices, such as Roku's set-top device, Microsoft's Xbox and Sony's PlayStation, are not affected by the move since they work with Amazon Prime Video.
Asked about the Apple TV and Chromecast sales ban, an Amazon spokesperson told eWEEK in an email reply on Oct. 2: "Over the last three years, Prime Video has become an important part of Prime. It's important that the streaming media players we sell interact well with Prime Video in order to avoid customer confusion. Roku, Xbox, PlayStation and Fire TV are excellent choices."