Apple Is Talking to TV Companies About a Deal That Could Change TV Forever
Remember a few months ago, when everyone was hyperventilating about the forthcoming Apple TV?
This was the magical "sheet of glass" powered by Siri that Apple was going to start selling for twice the price of a regular TV.
Well, no one talks about the Apple TV anymore.
We're not sure why.
But now Jessica Vascellaro and Shalini Ramachandran of the Wall Street Journal bring news that might explain the recent silence about this exciting new Apple product line.
Apparently, Apple has been meeting with cable TV companies recently pitching a new idea:
A cable set-top box that is built or at least powered by Apple technology.
This would presumably either be sold directly, via Apple stores, and replace cable customers' current cable boxes. Or it would be bought by the cable companies and rented to subscribers, the same way cable companies rent today's set-top boxes.
The advantages to this sort of deal for Apple are obvious:
- Immediate access to live TV content that consumers are already paying for (and that, otherwise, Apple would have to license directly from networks)
- A clever way of getting into the living room and TV ecosystem, without forcing consumers to change their TV-watching habits or TV providers or buy another set-top box
- The same sort of "carrier subsidy" arrangement that has helped sell so many iPhones
- The seamless convergence of today's TV with the future of TV, which is streaming and stored media delivered through iTunes, the Internet, etc.
- It would set Apple up to gradually gain more leverage over the cable companies--until the day when Apple has enough households worldwide that it can go direct to the networks and render the cable companies dumb pipes.
All that would be excellent for Apple. And the technology could be incorporated into the Apple TV hardware (the "sheet of glass") and help Apple sell millions more TVs.
Of course, the cable companies aren't stupid.
They know exactly what Apple wants to do to them.
read more: New Apple technology could overhaul TV