We've been speculating for about a year that Apple would roll out both an all-in-one HDTV and an on-demand, Internet-based TV/Movie network. Well, rumors from AppleInsider say that the wait may be over:
Though largely unconfirmed, there has been anecdotal evidence to support the notion that the streaming device may find its way into the AirPort Express product family. In particular, Apple last month began to constrain new shipments of AirPort Express modules to its US-based retail distributors, promising fresh shipments at a later date. In an August 6th filing, the company also reapplied for an 'AirPort Express' trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Still, it should be noted, that although the streaming device has been targeted for an unveiling during this month's affair, it has yet to receive Jobs' official stamp of approval. Insiders say spotted development of the device, most likely related to its embedded firmware, is still undergoing tests. And unless completely satisfied with its performance, Jobs could delay roll-out until a slightly later date.
Nevertheless, this month's media event will bear the fruits of several other Apple product initiatives. First and foremost, insiders have said, will be an introduction of the company's largest and most stunning iMac to date: a widescreen, possibly high-definition model, built around what appears to be a 23-inch display.
This is particularly interesting when combined with a report from ThinkSecret about the ability to wall-mount the 23-inch iMac.
Also rumored, but not confirmed, is that Apple will be introducing a VESA-compliant mounting kit or its own wall-mount for the new iMacs. Apple has not offered such an accessory since the original (pre-iSight) iMac G5.
So next week, we may see a 23-inch iMac, 1080p HDTV (Apple's 23-inch displays are both both progressive and greater than 1080p resolution, so 1080p is almost a given) you can mount on the wall that you can wirelessly stream TV shows and movies to -- as well as display photos, play music, and edit and burn videos and DVDs. Now a 23-inch display isn't exactly home theater sized, but it's certainly a way for Apple to test the waters for consumer acceptance of an all-in-one solution. And if the 23-inch takes off, you can bet that Apple has the ability to package the same computing hardware with 30-inch, 40-inch, and 46-inch LCDs as well. And by allowing some ambiguity as to whether this is a computer or consumer electronics device, Apple gets both market data and device revenue at the same time -- to say nothing of creating demand for movie digital downloads. And when venturing into new markets, marketing doesn't get any better than that.