Thursday, August 16, 2012

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in talks with Cable Companies, Set-top box on its way

The most valuable company in the world, Apple Inc. is into discussion with the largest US cable companies regarding building a set-top box that would store live television and other related content. This information was provided by a person, who had knowledge about the discussions.

Customers would be able to buy the device rather than paying a monthly rental fee to cable companies.

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This deal would highlight Apple’s most important venture into TV after a long time of calling it just a hobby. The Apple TV device that costs $99 does not have the facility of live network broadcasting and is majorly used for downloading TV shows from the iTunes store and movies and streaming content from YouTube and Netflix Inc.

Apple is likely to get access to a plethora of channels by entering into a partnership with cable companies that are now available to subscribers. This would prevent Apple from striking independent licensing deals with program owners and media companies after the airing of shows.

A spokesman for California-based Cupertino, Tom Neumayr has refused to comment. Wall Street Journal was the first one to report on this.

Apple executives have compromised with media companies regarding ways to access more content for a TV device. ESPN sports network has discussed with Apple about allowing subscribers to program through Apple TV. This information was provided by executives in the month of May.

A significant challenge that Apple had to face is that cable companies like Comcast Corp. have put in heavy investments in developing a new user-interface for their own set-top boxes that they rent out to customers in lieu of a monthly fee.

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs had told his biographer, Walter Isaacson, before his death that he had found out a way to build a TV device. It will have the simplest user interface ever. 

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