Digg Founder Gives Thumbs Up to $99 iTV Rumor

Digg founder and former TechTV personality Kevin Rose has given his stamp of approval to the rumor that Apple will be releasing an iOS-based $99 Apple TV rebranded as the iTV. That rumor began gaining steam earlier this month, and Mr. Rose intimated in a blog post that such a device will arrive in September, and he said that it will be a game changer for the settop market.

“From what I hear we should expect to see the iTV launch in September,” Mr. Rose wrote. Couched as comment on a rumor, the clear intimation is that his own information backs up said rumor.

Accordingly, he believes the device will support iOS apps and MobileMe-based picture and video sharing. “At $99 your parents, grandparents, and friends will have an iTV,” he wrote.

He also believes that Apple will offer a la carte stations in the form of dedicated apps for those networks, a move that would allow networks to directly monetize their content on the Internet, something that has been an elusive goal for the TV industry.

“This will eventually destroy the television side of the cable and satellite industry,” he wrote, “as your only requirement to access these on-demand stations will be an internet connection. Say goodbye to your monthly cable bill.”

Most curiously, Mr. Rose said that the iPad will be tied to the iTV and become, “one big badass remote control.” This will extend the interactive TV experience, he believes.

There have been several stories about Apple changing the name of the Apple TV to iTV and basing the new device on iOS, rather than Mac OS X. Engadget kicked it off, and that rumor was enough to send UK broadcaster iTV into a tizzy over the potential for trademark infringement.

Mr. Rose has leveraged his success with Digg into turning himself into an angel investor in Silicon Valley, and is fairly plugged into the tech world of the Bay Area.