One of the things Steve Jobs announced in his latest keynote was a drop in the price of the AppleTV, from $299 to $229 for the base model.
This should be good news for us at CamVine, because we buy quite a few of these – we take them apart and do nefarious things with them.
But there’s no price drop in the UK market – in fact, they’re still selling at £199. Now that’s not a bad price overall, and you have to remember that UK prices include 17.5% tax, but it’s still nearly $400 – substantially more even than the old price.
The price drop in the US, of course, coincided with the availability of movie rentals from the iTunes Music Store – something not available in other parts of the world yet. I wonder if the US hardware is being subsidised at all by the rental business?
They’re very nice devices, but I don’t have one at home because, some time ago, I bought a Mac Mini to go beside my TV, and an Elgato EyeTV box to capture digital broadcasts. It does everything the AppleTV does and a lot more – playing DVDs, for one thing. At the time, it seemed like quite an extravagance. But I’ve never regretted it for a moment. The vast majority of our TV watching is done this way now, and the recent release of a new version of the EyeTV software just makes it better.
To add some weight to your hypothesis, there’s not yet (last checked last night) been an upgrade to the AppleTV 2 software for this UK costumer – that too might be being held back until they’ve got the content to match.
The AppleTV, for what it’s worth, does do what it does quite well. It quite happily pipes video and music to our front room. I even find myself using the YouTube feature occasionally.
At the time of writing this, Apple UK are currently offering refurbished Apple TVs for £135, including shipping:
I’ve not had any experience of buying refurbished kit from them, but I’m sure it’s all in pretty good shape.