Rumours about the Apple television service, dubbed iTV, have been floating round the blogosphere for years. Now, it seems that the Cupertino company might be finally one step closer to realising that dream.
Apple is rumoured to be in talks with HBO, Viacom and ESPN, to negotiate an app deal with the TV networks. It seems that Apple would rather have an app-based system on the iTV, rather than signing any contracts with the cable companies direct. It makes sense, as Apple’s strategy has always been success through apps. Apple reportedly intends to set up the iTV as a paid streaming service, which would allow viewers to connect directly through their internet. This would mean that people could completely bypass the cable companies – something the networks are probably not too happy about.
It would offer people a more fluid way of watching television, as they’d be able to watch programmes on demand, and would be able to pick and choose what channels they wanted access to. This would mean they wouldn’t be tied into an expensive TV contract, with lots of channels they didn’t want. It’s a similar idea to Google’s recent Chromecast launch.
If Apple wants to be the first mover in this market, it’s going to have to launch fast. Google’s been rumoured to be working on a similar service, and Sony may already have signed a deal with Viacom. However, Apple’s iTV may be able to offer something slightly different than its competitors. It already has the Apple TV set top box, and it recently bought out video recommendation site Matcha. Apple’s iTV will be a proper television set, which aims to completely reinvent the way that people watch TV. This new rumour suggests that it could be closer to happening than we thought.