Apple has not given up on trying to attack the TV market.
Brian Stelter at the New York Times has a report on the latest details of Apple’s attempt to do something with television.
Instead of trying to create an Internet-based pay-TV service, Apple is going to attempt to turn pay-TV into another application.
Intel is trying to build an Internet-based premium TV service. Google is in talks with companies to do something similar, but it’s not getting much interest from content companies.
Stelter says Apple is talking to big distributors like Time Warner Cable about doing applications for the current Apple TV, which is a little box that gets plugged into the television. Apple would provide its own layer of software on top of Time Warner’s stream of content.
At the same time, Apple is also starting to fire up apps for Apple TV from individual channels. Stelter notes that British cable news station Sky News 1 has an app for Apple TV that lets users around the world access the channel, thus bypassing traditional cable packages.
It also has a Watch ESPN option and an HBO option on the Apple TV.
A lot of TV channels offer video streaming applications for the iPad and the iPhone. Porting those apps to the Apple TV doesn’t seem like a big stretch.
But, for all of those channels, you generally need a cable subscription. And, for all of those apps, Apple has very little say in the design. Therefore, Apple has minimal influence over the interface.
People briefed on Apple’s TV plans tell Stelter Apple is “trying to apply their software expertise, their user interface expertise,” to TV.
But, if they let other people make the apps, then it’s hard to see how that works.
So, in sum, Apple is trying a little bit of this, a little bit of that, trying to figure out what works.
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