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Apple TV teardown gives App Store clues

Storage space, iOS 4.1 hint at broader future for new Apple TV

Apple will add App Store functionality to its new, miniature Apple TV in the near future.

The $99 device , which Apple announced on Sept. 1, is a close sibling of the iPad in its component composition and uses the same iOS 4.1 that runs on the iPhone , iPod Touch and iPad, two huge hints that Apple will sell apps to consumers, not just rent content to stream to TVs, said Brian Marshall of Gleacher & Co.

“I’m a little disappointed that an App Store didn’t make it into this first version, but it’ll come,” Marshall said. “Apps will give consumers a much more media-rich environment than simply consuming content.”

One easy bet in Marshall’s mind: Games to turn Apple TV into a de facto video game console.

Earlier on Wednesday, the iFixit site published photographs and a step-by-step description of its “teardown” of the new Apple TV, and found close similarities to other recent Apple hardware, notably the iPad.

The Apple TV relies on the same Apple -designed A4 application processor that powers the iPad, said iFixit, down to the 256GB of system memory integrated with the A4 in both the iPad and the fourth-generation iPod Touch. The iPhone 4 boasts 512MB of system memory.