However, when we checked with a few outlets of Apple premium resellers like the Imagine Store, they told Medianama that Apple TV has not yet launched in India and they currently have no clue as to when it will be launching in India. We have contacted Apple India regarding this and will update the post when we hear from them.
Earlier (December 14): Apple India is planning to launch Apple TV in India in coming weeks, priced at Rs 6,990, as per a report from BGR India. Apple TV is a digital media receiver that brings digital media content to the users television, including content from iTunes store, user’s desktop, iCloud, and other content apps such as Netflix, Hulu.
Users can also play content from their Apple devices on their TV using AirPlay. The device does not come with local storage and all the content is either streamed from web or from connected devices.
The Apple TV 3rd generation, which will be launched in India, supports up to 1080 pixel resolution. The device has an HDMI port, micro-USB, Ethernet port, built-in IR receiver and WiFi. Apart from that, it sports Apple A5 processor, 512MB RAM and 8GB NAND Flash memory for caching content, and comes with a Apple remote.
Why It Makes Sense To Launch Apple TV Now: Launching the Apple TV now in India makes more sense than ever. Just last week, Apple launched the iTunes Store in India, allowing users to buy and download local and international music and music videos, and rent or purchase films (HD films included) from the store. Apple has also extended its iTunes Match service in India, allowing users to re-download previously downloaded music (even music purchased & downloaded from sources other than iTunes) from iTunes, and store it in the cloud at a price of Rs 1200 per year (compared to the US Store price of $25 per year).
As we mentioned earlier in the post, the Apple TV does not come with a local storage, thus most of the content streamed will be from online mediums such as iTunes Store and other apps. On the iTunes Stores, HD Movies are priced between Rs 290 to Rs 490 per download or Rs 120 for Rental, while SD Movies are priced at Rs 190 for download and Rs 80 for Rental. Users can view and stream any movies bought/rented from their iOS devices such as iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. However, it should be noted that movies rented on Apple TV cannot be moved to other Apple devices such as iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. Movies bought on Apple TV can be moved to other Apple devices.
Airplay: One of the unique selling points of the Apple TV is the Airplay feature. Airplay allows any iOS device or AirPort enabled computer with the iTunes music player to send streams on media content to the Apple TV (via Wifi) without connecting the device through a cable. Apple TV users can stream content from their iOS devices to their TV. Apart from that, users can also use AirPlay to stream non-media content such as games on their TV for full screen gaming using iOS device as a controller.
On Pricing: The Apple TV is available for $99 in the US. While launching a product in India, Apple usually charges additional 20-30% on its US based price, which brings BGR India’s rumored price guess in an expected price range.
Limitations: While the Apple TV in the US also brings content from Netflix, Hulu among others, Apple TV users in India will face content deficiency on the device. iTunes Store brings Bollywood and Hollywood movies and music to the Apple TV but it misses out content from the vast TV industry in India. While Netflix and Hulu fill this gap in the US, Apple will need to tie up with the content industry in India; without it, Apple TV will become just another add-on to the already crowded near-the-TV space which currently includes set top box, DVD player, among others.
In a way Apple TV competes with Android based internet TV devices which enables customers to access Internet on their TV. The advantage these Android based internet TV devices have over Apple TV is that it can get access to Indian video content by downloading apps such as Ditto TV, iStream.com, Zenga TV among others.
Just last week, Woxi Media had launched SmartPod for TV, a device that converts any TV into a smart- internet enabled TV. Woxi Media claims that the SmartPod is designed in Sunnyvale, California and Pune, India. The device is available in the market for Rs 9,499 inclusive of Magic Motion RF Qwerty remote, an HDMI cable, and an AV cable.
In June 2012, Amkette, the storage and multimedia technology company, had launched a similar product in the same price range, EvoTV, which enables customers to access Internet on their television using WiFi or a broadband connection. The device is available in the market for Rs 9,995 with Evo Touch Remote.
For users looking for a cheaper alternative, Akai, had launched the AKAI Smart Box, an internet enabled set top box that allows users to convert all kinds of television sets including CRT, Plasma, LCD or LED TVs into a smart TV. The Smart Box is available across India at an introductory offer price of Rs. 6,590 (M.R.P. Rs. 6990). Telecom service provider, Vodafone had launched an Android based internet access device called Webbox, but it was not marketed as a media player or a smart tv extension.
(Vikas SN contributed to this post)