Apple's 40GB AppleTV Slinks Away in the Night

Last night, Apple eliminated the 40GB version of its AppleTV and at the same time, dropped the price of its 160GB iTV $100 to $229. That leaves Apple with only one version of its "hobby" TV device. What's going on here?

There's a lot of speculation that Apple is readying a new version of its AppleTV perhaps with features like full 1080P HD, Gaming, App Store functionality and other goodies.

While I don't write off those possibilities, I think this particular price change might be reflective of the market price of the consumables that go into the AppleTV -- specifically hard drives.

The AppleTV uses a typical laptop hard drive. Most popular Netbooks use the 160GB hard drives that go into the AppleTV. HDD manufacturers are fighting to get their HDs into Netbooks making prices drop significantly. On the other hand, the 40GB drives that go into the discontinued line aren't even available retail anymore so they've probably been discontinued.

Apple really has little choice but to discontinue the 40GB AppleTV. I'd like to see them add a 500GB option however, as prices for those in retail channels have dropped significantly under $100, so wholesale Apple should be able to put that device at the old price point of the 160GB model.

Oh, and while thay are taking my requests, I'd like to see Apple use that extra space on 1080P movies and gaming, as mentioned above.

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