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Apple TV: End of an error?

Rumors are swirling that Apple's "hobby," also known as Apple TV, is about to get deep sixed for something else. Is this a case of Apple fans projecting rumors to make up for a so-so Nano launch?

Rumors are swirling that Apple's "hobby," also known as Apple TV, is about to get deep sixed for something else. Is this a case of Apple fans projecting rumors to make up for a so-so Nano launch?

Apple TV has a few fans--our own Sam Diaz is one of them--but for the most part the product just hasn't gained much traction. Apple TV is a hobby for Steve Jobs--not a world conquest.

Now TUAW is reporting rumors that Apple is telling resellers to remove Apple TV displays and literature by Sept. 30. TUAW added to its post and noted that it's possible that just the licensing is expiring--not Apple TV's life as a product. MacRumors adds that new Mac part numbers are appearing. Certainly it must be some Apple TV/Mini hybrid living room must have thingamajig. Or not. MacRumors downplays its original report.

GigaOm cooks up what the ultimate Apple TV replacement would do.

No matter what Apple cooks up it's going to have a tough slog. Why? The fundamental premise of YASTB (yet another set-top box) is all wrong. Let's add it up: The cable box, DVD player and video game machine add up for one crowded entertainment center. Any other set-top box requires thought--too much for a consumer like me. Apple would be better off allowing you to plug your iPod into the TV and use it as a conduit from your living room to iTunes.

The dirty little secret here is that your cable box works pretty well. Sure, gadgets like Apple TV and the Netflix player by Roku have a role, but the market may be limited. Both devices appeal to their respective bases, but it's not like folks are lining up around the block for them. At least Netflix has a core base of subscribers that will fork over $99 for its player.

And digital convergence? I already have that. I watch TV with a laptop on the couch--especially when watching football. I suppose I could use some widget on my TV or stream videos. But really I just want to know how my fantasy team is doing while my Eagles are about to lose to the Bears. Unless a set-top box can ease my pain I'm not terribly interested (at least the Phillies serve as a balm).

Also see: Apple Core blog