Apple TV 40GB Disappears: 160GB Model Discounted

Apple TV 40GB Disappears: 160GB Model Discounted

Apple's move to slash the price of one its Apple TV models and discontinue another lower capacity model have many scratching their heads. Monday morning the 40GB model of the Apple TV disappeared from U.S. retail locations and online. At the same time, the price of the 160GB version was slashed by one hundred dollars to $229 from $329.

Fulfillment of a prophecy?

In the days before Apple's September 9 media event, where the company unveiled new iPods and a revamped iTunes, many analysts believed the Apple TV was due for a refresh. Speculation revolved around the possibility that Apple TV could be overhauled, and earlier speculation wondered if the device might morph into a gaming machine.

In light of Monday's development, however, it may be Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster who is the most prescient, according to MacRumors. Munster earlier this month noticed the shipping window -- the time it takes for a product to go from factory to sales floor -- for the Apple TV had slipped to one to two weeks. This development prompted Munster to suggest Apple would cut the 40GB model from its inventory and slash the price of the 160GB version to make room for a new model. So far, a new model has not been introduced to the Apple TV lineup.

So what does this mean? Will there be a new model coming soon? It's possible, but since Apple TV is not a particularly high-selling product, the move could be meant to boost sales. A price cut could entice people to pick up the set-top box for a relatively cheap price, thereby encouraging more video downloads and rentals from Apple's iTunes Store.

So what do you say? Is this just a price cut to boost sales across North America or has Apple got something big planned for the Apple TV up its sleeve?

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