For the second time this year, Apple is giving buyers a $25 iTunes gift card when they purchase an Apple TV at full price.
Starting today and lasting through September 30, you can hit up your local Apple retail store or shop online and pick up an Apple TV for just $75, just as long as you’re okay with the savings being earmarked for the iTunes Store.
Of course, this isn’t the only deal that we’ve seen recently for the Apple TV, but it is just the second time this year that Apple itself is essentially discounting the set-top box. The company hardly ever discounts the Apple TV, so you’re looking at a rare appearance of the Apple TV here.
The deal is supposedly a celebration and promotion for the upcoming iTunes Festival in London, which you can watch for free on your Apple TV.
The iTunes gift card can be used to buy apps, games, music, movies, ebooks and more from the iTunes Store. However, it can’t be used to buy physical products on the Apple Store.
This deal also comes at a time when rumors for a newer Apple TV are heating back up. The new Apple TV is expected to come at some point next year with full gaming support with iOS 7 controllers, as well as the possibility of a built-in TV tuner so that users can use the Apple TV’s channel guide rather than the stock, crappy interface of most cable boxes.
However, it’s said that a minor Apple TV refresh could still happen in 2014, but we shouldn’t expect a complete overhaul until 2015 due to negotiations with cable companies.
Many reports over the last few months had expected a new Apple TV to release at some point this year, and that could very well still happen. The Apple TV hasn’t seen a decent refresh in a couple of years, and while there’s a new version of iOS that will arrive for the Apple TV this fall, the hardware itself could use an update.
If you remember from earlier in the year, Apple boasted that the Apple TV would “evolve” in 2014, suggesting that the company could be releasing an all-new Apple TV before the year’s end. However, knowing that Comcast is said to be a big part of the Apple TV refresh, we’re not surprised that the cable company’s recent acquisition is the reason that a new Apple TV is getting delayed.
Apple has stated in the past that the television market is an area of “intense interest” for the company, and it recently promoted the Apple TV to a dedicated device on the Apple online store, rather than just an accessory that was tucked away under the iPod category.
The upcoming iOS update should give the aging Apple TV box some new life, though. The latest beta for the Apple TV finally comes with a new user interface that gives the Apple TV an iOS 7 look, with flatter icons and a slightly simpler design reminiscent of iOS 7 on the iPhone and iPad.
While the iPhone and iPad have both received the new iOS 7 look last year, the Apple TV has been behind on the radical redesigns, still sporting the bubbly iOS 6-esque user interface. However, the set-top box’s latest beta is the first time we’re getting a glimpse at what Apple TV owners get to look forward to.
Icons are flatter this time around with a simpler look instead of the glossy icons we’ve known to love. Reflections are also gone, which is on par with the removal of the gloss effects. Text is a bit thinner than the current Apple TV typeface, but we’re not sure if it’s a big enough difference that a majority of users will notice.
The Apple TV’s user interface has remained mostly unchanged for several years, so it’s nice that we’ll finally get a redesign for Apple’s set-top streaming box. Unfortunately, it’ll be up to third-party apps to change the design of their Apple TV app icons in order to blend in with the new iOS 7 look, so there may be a period of time where icon designs will clash.