Rumors of a new product from Apple named iTV have been circulating for some time now.  The story goes that this will be a new device about the size of an iPhone, and it will replace the Apple TV, something Apple CEO Steve Jobs has referred to as a “hobby”.  Details have been sparse, as is typical with unannounced Apple products, but some information popped up this weekend that definitely make you sit up and take notice.

Digg co-founder Kevin Rose has a track record with announcing Apple products that is spotty sometimes.  Prior to the original iPhone he announced it would have two batteries and run on both AT&T and Verizon.  Yeah, we’re still waiting on those tidbits.  However, last year he predicted the iPod Nano down to the last detail, so he has earned some street cred in the realm of Apple predictions.

kevin roseThis time around he has turned his attention to the iTV, and we’ll let him speak for himself:

  • iOS TV Applications: Expect to see an iPhone/Pad like marketplace for television applications. Video sharing/streaming/recording apps, interactive news apps, and of course games.
  • a la carte (app) stations: With Apple’s iAds, content producers (eg. ABC/NBC/etc.) can directly monetize and distribute their content. This will eventually destroy the television side of the cable and satellite industry, as your only requirement to access these on-demand stations will be an internet connection. Say goodbye to your monthly cable bill.
  • .Me Picture/Video sharing: At $99 your parents, grandparents, and friends will have an iTV.  Sharing pictures/videos from your iPhone will happen with the push of a button.  Imagine getting a notification of new family videos the next time you turn on your TV. My mom will love this feature.
  • The iPad will turn into one big badass remote control: The iPad will be the preferred input device for the iTV. You’ll be able to [sic] editing videos, control games, and extend the interactive television experience. Imagine watching monday night football on the TV while viewing/exploring other camera angles on the iPad.

The one thing he doesn’t mention is the unfortunate rumor we’ve been hearing that the iTV won’t have 1080 support.  Hopefully Mr. Rose’s predictions come true, and not the one about 1080.

Even with the resolution issue, if the laundry list of features is true, Apple won’t be able to build the iTV fast enough to meet demand.  Apple TV will become a distant memory, and all other contenders coming to market, such as the Google TV, will be playing catch up from the moment they launch.

Don’t get us wrong, we some some definite flaws with this system for the more seriously tech-inclined (Divx streaming?  Media Center comparability?), but this device is squarely directed at the masses.  That line Kevin Rose said about his mom loving the sharing feature?  Ding ding ding.  That’s the target market, not those of us who live, eat and breath tech.  The masses want “simple” devices, and that is exactly what Apple is good at building.

We’re expecting this to be folded into the annual iPod event next month … hold on to your seats, kids because Uncle Steve is about to rock the world yet again.

What say you?  Are you excited for iTV?