Apple has been trying to drive adoption of the Apple TV for years now, but even the most recent model has only enjoyed limited success. With rumors saying that Apple is working on an actual HDTV with iOS loaded on it, Apple needs to up their game it wants to drive adoption. And that’s exactly what the company is doing.
The iPhone 5 hasn’t been announced, but it is expected to run iOS 5 and use the same powerful processor found in the iPad 2.
The iPad 2 and iOS 5 can use AirPlay Mirroring to “stream” to an Apple TV, bringing your entire iPad experience to a larger display without any wires, essentially bringing apps and video services to the Apple TV.
We know that the iPhone 5 will have iOS 5, and it’s pretty much a given that it will have the newer, more powerful processor needed to mirror to an Apple TV. If Apple enables this feature, sales of the Apple TV will be set to explode, especially as developers get on board.
At $99 the Apple TV will be a great iPhone accessory, allowing you to play games on your HDTV while you use your iPhone as a controller, watch Hulu Plus on the Apple TV (if they don’t shut down streaming) and much, much more.
When developers get on board, I can even imagine some incredibly fun group gaming going on when you pull together an Apple TV and several iOS devices. We’ve seen the iPad used as a game center with several games, but imagine a $99 device that streams your iTunes shows to the TV and allows you to play games and stream from apps on your iPhone. Instead of using FaceTime and looking at a small image on your phone, turn your 55″ HDTV into the screen you look at.
Apple sold over 20 million iPhones last quarter, a massive amount compared to the 1 million Apple TV units Apple had sold by the end of 2010, and only 2 million by the middle of this year. If half the iPhone 5 buyers purchase an Apple TV, it would be a big win for Apple and give the company a head start in the living room.