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The Wall Street Journal also suspects features like social media tools

Apple is planning to release a set-top box with a myriad of new features onboard, but it must contend with cable operators and entertainment companies first.

The new Apple set-top box device has one main goal: to offer both live and on-demand content in one place. The digital-video recorder (DVR) would store TV shows on the Web, allowing customers to watch it at any time.

Apple already offers the $99 Apple TV, which is a digital media receiver that plays digital content originating from the iTunes Store, Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, etc. However, Apple is looking to release something with added features to draw customers.

Specific features associated with the new Apple set-top box are speculative at the moment, but The Wall Street Journal proposed likely new additions like an iPad-like user interface, which would be both familiar to most customers and easier for them to use, and also social media options that allow people to share their TV shows through networks like Facebook and Twitter.


But in order to launch Apple's latest idea, it has to work with cable operators and entertainment companies -- and that's not the easiest thing to do. Why? Mainly because cable operators have their own competitive set-top box products, and entertainment companies don't want Apple changing the current pay TV method and gaining more power with more licensing rights to content in the long run.

However, Apple's latest TV idea isn't out to disrupt the pay TV business model. It's not throwing out sci-fi ideas to ruin the cable industry, but rather, offer improvements on options already available. For example, Apple's set-top box aims to allow customers to access all episodes of a TV show rather than just select episodes of a current season. It also wants older seasons to be available as well.

Source: The Wall Street Journal



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RE: Yawn....
By tng on 8/17/2012 1:37:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Who cares...


Well, somebody at Apple...

What they don't realize is this is not a computer or a smartphone. The STB industry is full of companies like Time Warner and Comcast that will find a way to make any Apple STB unworkable if it cuts to far into the cable profit margin and they will do it legally to boot.

Also only die hard Apple fans will buy this when everyone of the cable companies, satellite companies and the like already have a mature and dynamic online and on-demand business.

My opinion only, but it seems like this is a "Me To" move by Apple.


RE: Yawn....
By Pirks on 8/17/2012 2:26:54 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
this is a "Me To" move by Apple
Cheesy clowns were saying the same about first iPhone


RE: Yawn....
By corduroygt on 8/17/2012 2:30:51 PM , Rating: 2
Except Apple is probably the only company who has the financial muscle to persuade these companies...never say never, you never know what's next.


RE: Yawn....
By kleinma on 8/17/2012 2:59:45 PM , Rating: 2
I doubt it. Apple wants a free ride on the internet service of the same company that wants to charge you for their STB and TV service. They don't tend to like that too much, even if they have to put up with it. So they probably will make it difficult in any way they can. Based on how Apple likes a big fat cut of everything, I am not sure how well this would work.

Unfortunatly, I view this apple STB attempt as nothing more than what has already been tried with google TV, netflix, TV on xbox, etc... they might be nice supplements to the current cable/satellite TV providers, but until they can provide all of it (including the local broadcast channels like fox, nbc, and cbs, it won't find its way into everyone's living room.


RE: Yawn....
By web2dot0 on 8/17/2012 3:31:00 PM , Rating: 2
You are not sure how this would work, that's why we have expert who knows more than you to do the job :-D

Google TV, Netflix, XBox do not have the muscle that Apple have. It's that simple. Apple is first to sign deals with record companies to create their iCloud infrastructure. So, do not underestimate competition. They have shown their abilities before, so I wouldn't write them off.

Apple is going after this at a slow the steady pace. Which is how it should be done. Nothing revolutionary happens in the cable industry. It takes time and effort. Incremental changes. Over time, consumers get used to the idea of these setup boxes, then Apple is trounce once they sense the market is turning on its head.

Move along with the times, no ahead of the times. Too fast too soon is a recipe for disaster.


RE: Yawn....
By wiz220 on 8/17/2012 3:18:20 PM , Rating: 2
Funny, I was gonna say that big content might be the only conglomerate that could possibly stop Apple :)


RE: Yawn....
By ritualm on 8/17/2012 7:03:39 PM , Rating: 2
Except, as Steve Jobs himself had said a long time ago, technology was never the issue in the TV market.

Apple will never get any of the hardline TV companies onboard without a major concession (read: potential antitrust minefield). $100-billion does you no favors here.


RE: Yawn....
By web2dot0 on 8/18/2012 7:36:26 AM , Rating: 2
Anti-trust in this new arena? Is that a joke? The market is small right now. No monopoly going on here buddy.

What the hell are you talking about?

Only Apple or something a massive cash can penetrate this market. Cable companies have too much at stake to let anyone intrude the cash cow. The solution is incremental/slow changes. Let the market dictate the pace of innovations.

Cellphone market started slow in the 90's. Once the steam picked up, look what we have now! iPhone 5 in 2012!

End users will eventual demand sophisticated programming and it's going to reach a breaking point where cable companies have NO CHOICE, but to play with Apple. It's just a matter of time.

It's kinda like music industry. You'll never get rid of music industry, but MP3 is here to stay and iPods/iTunes is going to be a new medium of consumption. Accept it, or move aside. The only frontier left to conquer is bypassing music labels to create your own album. We still haven't found a feasible way to promoting music compared to record labels can. But it's a matter of time. Not if it's gonna happen.

Never say never, it's a bad strategy to bet against innovations.


RE: Yawn....
By Reclaimer77 on 8/18/2012 9:22:10 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Only Apple or something a massive cash can penetrate this market. Cable companies have too much at stake to let anyone intrude the cash cow.


What incentive do they have dealing with Apple? Simply because Apple has money? Cable companies aren't stupid. You think they don't notice that the only one who profits from dealing with Apple, is Apple?

Who's actually gotten the better end of the stick from partnering with Apple? And if you DO somehow manage it, Apple turns around and sues you.


RE: Yawn....
By Tony Swash on 8/17/2012 7:42:15 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Also only die hard Apple fans will buy this


You guys are getting jizz all over your pants over a product that has not been announced and about which you know precisely nothing. Why does Apple cause you so much excitement if you don't intend to buy their products? Seems a bit weird to me.

The current Apple TV already has over 30% of the TV set top box market by the way and outsold the Xbox in the last quarter. Not bad for a hobby.


RE: Yawn....
By ritualm on 8/17/2012 9:11:41 PM , Rating: 2
Apple TV doesn't have 30% of the TV STB market, it's more like 0%. Stop fishing bogus statistics out of your butt.


RE: Yawn....
By Tony Swash on 8/18/2012 7:03:22 AM , Rating: 1
I think Apple Tv having over 30% of the STB market is pretty likely given that the other players are so weak, the market still quite small and Apple's offering is very attractive for anyone owning an Apple device - and we know ownership of the latter has been growing extremely strongly.

This article is a few months old but I can't see much has changed since then.

http://www.livedigitally.com/2011/12/12/if-appletv...

add that article to this data

http://www.splatf.com/2012/01/roku-sales-2011/

This is a more up to date over view of the STB market

http://www.digitaltrends.com/home-theater/apple-tv...

Here is an extract from the article

quote:
During the quarter ending June 2012, Apple disclosed sales of 1.3 million Apple TV units — up 170 percent from the same quarter a year before — but only after being prompted about it during the question-and-answers section of the results call. The figures brings Apple TV sales for the fiscal year to 4 million devices — roughly corresponding to the introduction of the 1080p version. Since introducing the $99 compact version of the Apple TV, the company has sold 6.8 million units.

Those numbers may not compare significantly to Apple’s other hardware businesses — during the same period, Apple sold more than 44 million iPads, over 416 million iPhones, and more than 13 million Macs. But that’s comparing (ahem) apples to oranges. How did Apple TV fare against other set-top streaming solutions?

Pretty darn well. Roku is arguably one of the most successful video streaming solutions: and at $50, it’s even cheaper than the Apple TV. Roku does not disclose sales figures, but in March 2012 Roku’s CEO claimed the company was experiencing 132 percent year-on-year growth, and reports had put total sales at the time at around 2.5 million units. About 1.5 million of those sales were reportedly during 2011. Roku still seems very happy with its progress — and the company just announced it’s locked in another $45 million to fund development and marketing.

What about game consoles, which also offer streaming video? During the quarter ending in June, and Microsoft sold 1.1 million Xbox 360s, and Nintendo managed to sell about 710,000 Wii consoles. Sony’s PlayStation 3 did better, selling 1.9 million units during its final fiscal quarter of 2011 (which ran into March 2012).

So the Apple TV outsold the Xbox 360 and the Wii — although, it’s worth noting the Wii is at the end of its life (with the Wii U already lined up to replace it) and the Xbox 360 has been on the market since 2005.


So Apple's hobby is already doing very well and has achieved a significant footprint in the market. Sounds about time for a bit of acceleration from Apple and another nice major market disruption. I can't wait.


RE: Yawn....
By ritualm on 8/18/2012 5:20:20 PM , Rating: 3
1. Every link you posted are bogus.
2. "the other players are so weak" because you don't even consider them as competitors, just copycats, amirite?
3. Keep your mouth shut kthx.


RE: Yawn....
By Dug on 8/20/2012 2:00:57 PM , Rating: 2
It's currently #4 in Electronics on Amazon
#1 in Electronics/ Televisions & Video
#1 in Electronics/ Home Audio & Theater

It's also been #1 in all electronics in the past.

So where are your statistics of 0%? Your butt?


RE: Yawn....
By Dug on 8/20/2012 2:03:05 PM , Rating: 2
That was suppose to be in reply to ritualm


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