Who knows about the rumored “iTV,” but Apple has big plans for its Apple TV set-top box, according to “The Wall Street Journal” (http://macte.ch/FEBxi). The article says Apple is in talks with some of the “biggest U.S. cable operators” to use the set-top box for live television and other content.
However, before you get too excited, note that the “WSJ” adds that Apple doesn’t appear to have reached a deal with any cable operators. One obstacle may be the the operator’s reluctance to let Apple establish a foothold in the television business.
However, if Apple and the cable operators can hammer out a deal, “The Daily Ticker” (http://macte.ch/jDDz0) says the advantages to this sort of deal for Apple are:
° Immediate access to live TV content that consumers are already paying for (and that, otherwise, Apple would have to license directly from networks);
° A clever way of getting into the living room and TV ecosystem, without forcing consumers to change their TV-watching habits or TV providers or buy another set-top box;
° The same sort of “carrier subsidy” arrangement that has helped sell so many iPhones;
° The seamless convergence of today’s TV with the future of TV, which is streaming and stored media delivered through iTunes, the Internet, etc.;
° Setting Apple up to gradually gain more leverage over the cable companies–until the day when Apple has enough households worldwide that it can go direct to the networks and render the cable companies dumb pipes.