Don’t Fall for the Apple TV Promo!

For one of the few times not associated with Black Friday or Cyber Monday, Apple is offering a free $25 iTunes Gift card to anyone who buys a new Apple TV device before March 5th, 2014. The Apple TV has to be a new (not refurbished) one, and purchased in either a U.S. Apple store or the U.S. Apple Online Store in order to qualify for the offer. Once you have the gift card in hand, it can be used at the iBooks Store, on iTunes, the Mac App Store, or the App Store. So what’s the catch that we as consumers need to be on the lookout for?

Does the Last Second Promo have something to Do with Amazon?

There have been a large number of rumors that Amazon is going to come out with a TV streaming box of their own. And soon. According to reporting on Tech Crunch,
The company is looking at a potential set-top box launch for this month. There have been previous reports that the company was already working on a streaming device suitable to compete head-head against Chromecast, the Roku boxes, and Apple TV, but wasn’t quite ready for primetime for the Holidays in 2013. If these rumors are in fact true, then the short-notice Apple TV promotion might be solely to fence off as much of a consumer base as possible before Amazon enters the market.

Once released, it’s expected that the as of yet unbranded box would include titles from the Amazon Instant Video library and other content made available to current Amazon Prime members at no charge. There is also a large music library that the company could make accessible to consumers at no charge. The rumored OS for the box would be a fork of Android tweaked to provide similar functionality found on the Kindle Fire tablets. Additionally, rumors persist that the box might also provide game support. A unique twist to the business model that has also been rumored is that Amazon might provide the streaming box for free to Prime members…or possibly increase the cost of a Prime membership slightly to offset the cost of the box. If they do, it will likely be due to the expected windfall of increased content purchases by consumers via the set-top box as seen by Apple TV over the years.

Is the Next-Generation Apple TV Coming Out Soon?

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Apple has long been due for a new or next generation Apple TV. The current version, although very successful, has basically been on the market since 2010. Although there was a refresh of the technology in 2012, there has been a widely reported upgrade in the production pipeline by the company for this year. This would be the fourth generation of the device, and will include “new” forms of content and a brand new interface for consumers. There are various rumors about the box including games and a Bluetooth controller, but these have not been confirmed by the company. We do know that the new device is likely being targeted for release soon (if you believe the numerous press reports and leaks about the product). If this is true, then make sure you’ll be happy with the current model of Apple TV if taking advantage of the $25 iTunes gift card promo in the near term!

Should You Wait to Buy Apple TV?

It really depends on the individual if you should fall for the Apple TV promo (ie take advantage of it). If you have already been planning on buying Apple TV, then you could go ahead and take the $25 gift card offer; however, you might be kicking yourself if the new model is released in the next few weeks. Similarly, if you are an Amazon Prime member, you might also want to hold off on buying ANY new content streaming box until we see what each company does over the coming weeks. It really comes down to how long are you willing to wait for the next generation of set-top boxes to be released?
AppleTV is a far better deal than a Roku and if you are in the market for a streaming box with connectivity there is no better option. Take into consideration the $25 can be used to purchase abut 5 TV episodes or 2 movies. As with every Apple product in their history the new model (if released) will also come with a price increase. So for $99 and $25 free iTunes credit I wuld say this is the best current deal offered on a streaming box
Thanks for the insight! I have read since posting the article that the Apple folks are refusing to confirm or deny the pending release of a new Apple TV box as of right now. Not sure if this is true, a distraction, or none of the above! No new news yet on the Amazon set-top box.


I shall wait for Amazon and see what happens. I kinda chuckled at the Kindle..and I am not an Apple guy although I like the brand and own iPhones and the latest tablet.....but no one is laughing at Kindle now. Amazon has a good product IMO so perhaps thier streaming device will be competitive and reasonably priced.
Yeah, I know! The Kindle has come a very LONG way from first release to today! I'm an Amazon Prime member, so I'm hoping we get a "free" one with our service so I can try it out :)