Apple Negotiating With Cable Operators To Use Apple TV Device As a Set-Top Box

Apple TV

Ever since Steve Jobs biography revealed that he felt 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.

But according to Wall Street Journal, Apple may be seeking a less radical path to expand in television than it has contemplated in the past.

WSJ reports that according to ‘people familiar with the matter’ Apple is negotiating with cable operators to use Apple TV device as a set-top box.

Apple Inc. is in talks with some of the biggest U.S. cable operators about letting consumers use an Apple device as a set-top box for live television and other content, according to people familiar with the matter.

The talks represent Apple’s most ambitious crack at infiltrating the living room after years of trying.

Apple doesn’t appear to have reached a deal with any cable operators. One obstacle may be the reluctance of operators to let Apple establish a foothold in the television business.

It means that Apple has changed its strategy as we had heard that it was negotiating with content providers as it wanted unbundled channels and more options including time shifting to watch content. However, it is possible that Apple is now teaming up with service providers rather than licensing content to compete with them as it failed to strike a deal with content owners.

WSJ notes that Apple’s set-top box will be available for hundreds of dollars rather than $10-$15 per month for the standard one provided by cable companies.

WSJ also reports that according to their sources, the technology could ultimately be embedded in a television set.

It remains to be seen how Apple plans to release such a device in international markets as Steve Jobs in an interview at the D8 conference back in 2010 had said that the environment of “balkanized” cable operators controlling everything through their own set-top boxes made it difficult to envision a go-to-market strategy for Apple.

We wonder if this also means that Apple has delayed its plan to launch integrated television set as WSJ has pretty good track record when it comes to Apple related rumors.

Would you be interested in buying Apple’s set-top box?

[via WSJ]