Welcome to the next vision for Apple TV? At its recent World Wide Developers Conference, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) introduced a new low-level 3-D graphics API called Metal that could be integrated into Apple TV down the road. While Metal could give obvious advantages in mobile, its promise of console-like graphics provides an an intriguing advantage should Apple release a new Apple TV that was more powerful and featured a television App Store.
As stated by AnandTech, a website with deep hardware and chip expertise, "a closed ecosystem in turn means that Apple can achieve a level of OS, hardware, and programming language integration that no one else can achieve."
Which is to say, because Apple has a fully vertical ecosystem designing everything from its A7 central processor to the operating system, a graphics API optimized just for Apple devices could be a major performance advantage, especially with gaming.
Apple so far has only approached the television by selling Apple TV at $100. Yet consoles like Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Xbox One and Sony's PlayStation 4 retail for $400 and over. So far, consoles running mobile operating systems such as the Kickstarter-backed Ouya have been failures.
An Apple system wouldn't have the same appeal as Microsoft's Xbox One to the gaming community. However, if it was marketed as a general entertainment device first, and promised console-like graphics and a robust App Store full of games second, it could be a powerful differentiator from rival TV offerings like Roku. Not only that, but it could be the kind of feature that allows Apple to sell an Apple TV for more than $100.
In the following video, The Motley Fool's Alison Southwick talks to Fool tech analyst Eric Bleeker about Apple's new Metal graphics.