Apple’s plans to blow up the television industry appear to be stuck.Pacific Crest analyst Andy Hargreaves met with top Apple executives and came away saying we shouldn’t expect an Apple TV any time soon.
Philp Elmer DeWitt of Fortune has the Hargreaves note, and excerpted this relevant portion:
An Apple Television Appears Extremely Unlikely in the Near-term
Relative to the television market, Eddy Cue, Apple SVP of Internet Software and Services, reiterated the company’s mantra that it will enter markets where it feels it can create great customer experiences and address key problems. 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. 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.
Unfortunately for Apple and for consumers, acquiring rights for traditional broadcast and cable network content outside of the current bundled model is virtually impossible because the content is owned by a relatively small group of companies that have little interest in alternative models for their most valuable content. 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.
This is slightly different than what we’ve read in the Wall Street Journal. The Journal reports suggested Apple is trying to work with cable companies and content companies without really disrupting their model.
This report suggests that Eddy Cue says he doesn’t want Apple to simply introduce a better user interface. He wants to create an entirely new model for television.
As DeWitt notes, this could be misdirection from Apple. Or it could be misinterpretation by Hargreaves.
Either way, it’s hard to read this note and believe that Apple is already in production with an Apple television, as Jefferies reported.
If you’re waiting for an Apple television, you might be waiting a while.