Bloomberg reports that there will be no new “TV product” from Apple this year as the Cupertino company struggles to reach deals with cable operators. It is reportedly working on a new set-top box that will offer live and on-demand television content — as well as the downloads it already offers through iTunes. But it appears there’s little chance of that appearing in the foreseeable future.
Apple isn’t the only one with this plan, either. According to the report, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon are all vying to transform television with a revolutionary new product. But they must first strike deals with media companies and cable providers. The problem is, those providers have no incentive to sign up.
The result: Apple won’t be releasing a new TV product this year, as analysts had predicted, said a person familiar with the company’s plans.
We’ve been hearing for several months that Apple is in negotiations with providers in an effort to convince them to sign up to its new product. It was successful with the music labels when launching the iTunes Store, and with carriers when it launched the iPhone. But it seems it’s a little more difficult when it comes to TV.
The cable companies reportedly want control over the device’s software — just like carriers did with phones before the iPhone came along. But Apple already has a solution, Bloomberg claims:
Since the middle of the last decade, Apple’s engineers have been working on a more advanced product to allow viewers to quickly find shows and movies, blending both live and recorded material, the people said. It would recommend content based on interests and work seamlessly with Apple’s family of other devices. An iPhone or iPad would double as a remote control, the people said.
We know Apple’s stance on software, and so the possibility of it backing down and handing over any control to providers seems highly unlikely. In fact, it’s more likely that the Cupertino company would simply scrap its plans than launch a device it has little control over.
Not only will we not see a new Apple “TV product” this year, then, but it could be some time before we see one at all.