Exclusive: Upcoming Apple TV loses 1080p playback, gains apps... and will be renamed iTV

You might remember that we broke news of an updated Apple TV headed to market just a few months ago. If your brain isn't working right, let us jog it: a trusted Engadget source asserted that the gang in Cupertino would be releasing a $99 version of the set top box, similarly sized and packed with internals akin to that of the iPhone 4 (A4 CPU, 16GB of flash storage), and will introduce new iTunes streaming services the box could take advantage of. Well we've gotten a little more info on the project, and it's not all good. Apparently the box won't be capable of handling (or enabled to handle) 1080i or 1080p video. Instead it will only push out 720p clips. The word -- and cause for much internal debate, we're told -- is that this has something to do with the A4's inability to crank on higher resolution content, but we don't see how that's possible considering the iPhone 3GS could play back full HD video. Furthermore, the device will be getting apps and presumably an App Store entry, though it's unclear if there will be cross-pollination between iPad and iPhone / iPod touch offerings and new Apple TV applications.

Oh, and there's one more thing -- Apple will be officially changing the name of the device to iTV, abandoning the current moniker in favor of something a little more in line with its current iOfferings. Interestingly, that was the name of the Apple TV when it was originally announced by the company, so it appears Steve and friends aren't so much moving forward as going back to their innocent, untainted roots. Regardless of which direction the company is heading in name-wise, we can likely expect a full reveal sometime in the Fall... so hang tight.

Update: To clear up any confusion, the loss of 1080p is in reference to the previous information we had (linked above, and here) about the new Apple TV -- not in reference to the current Apple TV.