Report claims Apple still aims to release Television set, negotiating directly with content providers


Ever since Steve Jobs biography revealed that he had finally cracked integrated Television sets, there has been chatter that Apple will release iOS based television sets as early as this year.

Quartz now reports that Apple is negotiating directly with providers including ESPN, HBO, Viacom to provide content for its own branded television set through apps instead of channels.

Quartz reports:

It’s unclear how close these deals are to fruition. Some people cautioned that, with the TV industry in such flux, “everybody is talking with everybody.” Any deal with an internet TV service like the one envisioned by Apple is likely to be under similar terms as the networks have negotiated with traditional cable companies.

Sources say Apple’s strategy could include forming its own pay TV service, essentially becoming a cable company itself, except with content delivered entirely over the internet. Intel, Sony, and Google are known to be pursuing similar tactics, and could launch their own pay TV services before Apple.

Quartz claims that Apple wants to release a full-fledged television set, and not just a set-top box like Apple TV that is available currently, as it wants to control the entire experience of watching TV. The report however notes that cable companies are preventing content providers from signing distribution deals with Apple. According to Quartz, a deal with top-tier content provider like ESPN or HBO to offer standalone packages could be the tipping point for Apple to launch the television set.

Apple is also interested in striking deals with cable companies that would allow users to plug their cable lines into the Apple’s TV set instead of needing a cable box. Apple is concerned about the bandwidth problems that has plagued streaming services like Netflix at busy times, which is another reason it is interested in striking a deal with cable companies as they own the pipes that deliver their programming.

Apple has been widely rumored to launch an iOS based television set with Siri for extensive voice control rather than the conventional remote control. There have also been rumors that Apple is negotiating with cable operators to use Apple TV-like device as a set-top box for live television and other content.

Tim Cook has maintained that Television is an “intense area of interest.” Couple of months back, at D11 conference he said that the company had a grand vision for Television.

MG Siegler, general partner at Google Ventures and a columnist for TechCrunch, recently claimed that Apple may launch “some sort of television product” as early as November this year. But Siegler indicated that this new device won’t feature Siri. He claimed Apple is working on “some new way to interact with whatever this thing is.” 

It remains to be seen if Apple will be able or allowed to disrupt the TV industry like it has done to the music and telecom industries. We certainly hope so.

[Via Quartz]

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