Apple has long maintained that its Apple TV
product was nothing more than "a hobby," so it makes sense to think that it has seen the fewest amount of updates when looking at its array of non-computer devices. The firm's Mac lineup and iPod/iPhone lineup gets refreshed at least once per year, while the Apple TV sees a firmware update maybe once every two years.
Since launching a few years back, the device has remained largely unchanged. The design has stuck, the functionality has only increased slightly and the internal capacity has only been bumped a time or two. Now, however, it sure smells like Apple
may have bigger plans at work with regard to its own set top box. Suddenly, the company axed its 40GB Apple TV and cut 30% off of the asking price on its 160GB model. The result is a single 160GB Apple TV option for $229, which is $100 less than what the same device would've cost you yesterday.
The device, as it stands, is becoming increasingly irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. With video on-demand, Vudu
and all manners of other web-based viewing/rental portals, why buy a dedicated set top box? You'd need a good excuse (or a membership in Apple's fan club) to really justify one, but who knows, maybe this is the first step in Apple overhauling the device into something that makes sense given the current state of online media.