We’ve heard rumors of Apple’s planned Siri-powered iTV the better half of this year. Early rumors suggested the device could land in April, but that month came and went without a single whisper from Apple on the topic. An analyst recently said it could launch as early as September, when Apple is expected to deploy the iPhone 5 and iPad mini, but Apple executive Eddy Cue recently stifled that rumor when he said a TV isn’t coming soon.
In a recent note, Pacific Crest analyst Andy Hargreaves said that Apple’s senior vice president of internet software and services Eddy Cue implied that the iTV isn’t coming soon. “The key problems in the television market are the poor quality of the user interface and the forced bundling of pay TV content, in our view,” Crest said in his note, which was obtained by Fortune. ”While Apple could almost certainly create a better user interface, Mr. Cue’s commentary suggested that this would be an incomplete solution from Apple’s perspective unless it could deliver content in a way that is different from the current multichannel pay TV model.”
Crest also said that Apple would struggle to acquire broadcast and cable network rights if it wanted to offer them with a different non-bundled business model. “The content is owned by a relatively small group of companies that have little interest in alternative models for their most valuable content,” Crest explained. “The differences in regional broadcast content and the lack of scale internationally also create significant hurdles that do not seem possible to cross at this point.”
So, while it’s entirely possible Apple is building the hardware and software for an iTV, the company may ultimately decide to bail on the product until it can iron out those deals with cable providers.