I think Apple had two big reasons for pushing this update out with a low price and limited features. First, it needs leverage with the studios to get more content at low prices so it needs a lot of users/renters. Second, it wanted it out before the launch of Google TV. I've been reading the complaints about the lack of the hard drive and app store. The hard drive is easy to explain because of the pricing strategy. Include it and the price goes up, especially considering the size you'd need for a large library. Also, central storage really makes more sense anyway for people who are serving multiple Apple TVs and IOS devices. Lastly the bulk of the population that Apple wants to buy this couldn't care less about local storage because these are the same folks who are still going to the soon-to-be-bankrupt video store to rent DVDs. As for the lack of apps, there could be two reasons. The first is just marketing strategy to save it for future updates. My guess though is that Apple is already pricing this thing as close to cost. It doesn't want to release a product for that low a price that might cannibalize sales of the other IOS devices. Add an app store and for that price some might look to it as an iPad/iPod Touch alternative. If this product succeeds and drives iTunes sales then it makes more sense, but the last thing Apple wants is to hurt sales of proven products with something that might fizzle if the studios and renters don't pan out.