Apple TV Rumor Reignites: Partnering With Cable Companies Rather Than Fighting Them

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. And evidently, those that can't beat 'em eventually join 'em. All of the common phrases seem to apply to Apple, which may finally be caving to the powers that control television content in a bid to make any impact at all. Despite years of rumors, no Apple-infused television has come to pass. Apple still hasn't figured out a way to disrupt television the way it disrupted the smartphone business and the digital download business, and now that a new regime is in place, it may be time to try a different approach. According to a new Wall Street Journal report, Apple is chatting with American cable operators about a plan that may integrate existing pay-TV content into an Apple set-top box.

As you may know, Motorola, Scientific-Atlanta and a number of others already saturate this market, but the UI on all of them are just awful. TiVo is about the only DVR player out there with a semi-useful user interface, and Apple probably assumes that iOS would go over a lot better in the living room. And it's probably right. These talks are obviously far less radical than prior rumors indicated, and it may be the first time that we've known the modern Apple to back down instead of forcefully getting its way.

No one at Apple is commenting on the report, but it's clear that Apple values TV. It's the reason they keep producing Apple TV units, and without even trying, they're selling like hotcakes. People may be inclined to pony up for pay-TV if relying on an Apple set-top box that ran iOS, so that material consumed and purchased on the iPad, Mac or iPhone would also integrated into the TV ecosystem. It's certainly a missing link in Apple's entertainment universe, and honestly, partnering with carriers instead of fighting against them gives Apple its best chance yet to get in on the action.

Tags:  Apple, HDTV
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