Mystery “magic trackpad” could signal something big

Apple has gotten a Bluetooth trackpad approved by the FCC. So, what would you possibly do with this? You don’t need it for one of their laptops, they already have a trackpad. Potentially you could use it with an iMac or Mac Pro, but why bother with Bluetooth?

I’m picturing this as a remote for an iOS-based Apple TV, or an HD version of the iPod Touch that has a TV cable. Either combination would let you run iOS apps on a TV and control them from your couch.

All the rumors about a new AppleTV with limited storage based on iOS sound more and more like an iPod Touch with an AppleTV app. It actually makes some sense — you could buy or rent the movies you want, put them on this device, and actually take your movies over to a friend’s house to watch on their TV by plugging in an adapter cable. A 16GB iPod Touch could hold 4 or 5 feature films in about a third the space of a Blu-Ray movie box, and of course the chips are out there for higher capacity. Even better, the WiFi connection could let you serve streamed content as well, like the tons of podcasts and YouTube already available, or cloud-based iTunes video. It’s not a stretch to think of an iPod Touch HD that could play full 1080p over HDMI.

This Apple TV app could just run on an iPod, iPad, or iPhone, too. You just bring the remote and the adapter cable for your friend’s TV, and it’s Movie Night.

Now all Apple needs to do is get content owners to get real about TV and movie pricing on iTunes, and they could have a real business instead of a hobby. The technology for these and even cooler services is not the challenge, it’s getting content owners to agree to reasonable terms for the selling of content that is still often available for free on broadcast TV, or can be rented for $1 from RedBox.