Report: Apple TV is Shelved for 2012
September 6, 2012 7:46 PM
Seven years later and Apple still hasn't quite cracked the smart TV equation
The perennial rumors that Apple, Inc. (
) is preparing to launch a
"smart" LCD TV
advanced set-top box
dealt a blow
which cites multiple sources as saying the project has stalled on Apple's inability to
cut a deal with content providers
I. Building a Better Box
The news service reports that Apple engineers have been working since 2005 to make a super set-top box. Inspired by TiVo, Inc.'s (
eponymous recording hardware
and other smaller players like Roku, Apple aimed to beat perennial rivals Amazon.com, Inc. (
) and Google Inc. (
) to expand the role of the digital TV.
Today Apple is selling, according to a (calendar)
Q1 2012 earnings
call, 1.4 million units of its AppleTV. That may sound okay, but compared to the distribution deals TiVo owns, and sales of other Apple products it's pretty abysmal.
The problem is that Apple's current product -- in its third generation -- lacks many features, while actually regressing in some ways on others. Early models had hard drives (40/160 GB first gen.), but Apple ditched the mildly useful feature for streaming only -- a cut it justified by a price drop from $229 to $99 USD.
AppleTV is smaller and sleeker, but now lacks a hard-drive. [Image Source: Engadget]
The device also lacks a built-in browser or useful apps other than select service portals from a handful of partners like Netflix, Inc. (
) and Google Inc.'s (
) YouTube. And those services are also offered via TiVos and Rokus.
But Apple's vision for its better box began and remains with a much more ambitious dream than the cheap but currently model. Apple envisioned an advanced device that could double as a game console, receive live content (over the internet), from television networks (
), record shows via a built in hard drive, play pictures/songs, surf the web, and watch internet videos. More recently it even planned to use its iPhone smartphone and iPad tablet as controllers, taking advantage of the devices' built-in Bluetooth capabilities.
II. Content Providers -- a Tall Hurdle to Jump Over
To make this dream device Apple has to come together with television content producers to allow streaming shows and recording. While TiVo can essentially do what it wants, the TV content creators have a degree of leverage over Apple. As the largest digital distributor of music and TV show episodes on a purchase basis, Apple must avoid the wrath of its business partners in those ventures.
But its never-ending thirst for profits has met its match in the similar profit motives of the big media content producers, yielding a stalemate. Eddy Cue, iTunes SVP, has been unable to break the deadlock.
In July Tim Cook commented, "We continue to pull the string to see where it takes us, and we are not one to keep around projects that we don’t believe in and so there are a lot of people here that are believers in Apple TV."
Apple's attempts to court content providers on a live TV offering have been rebuffed.
[Image Source: Washington Times]
Comcast Corp. (
), according to
, rejected an invitation into Apple's would-be TV "walled garden" back in 2007 when it realized the extent of control Apple wanted over its content. Apple received similar feedback from CBS Corp. (
). And Viacom, Inc. (
) is also lukewarm on the prospect.
Walter Price, an investor in RCM Capital, a major Apple stakeholder which owns $1.9B USD shares says that in a recent meeting Apple executives said the roadblock was content providers being set in their traditional business models. The content providers are reportedly afraid of putting Apple in the driver's seat. This is not surprising; many content makers long ago grew frustrated at Apple's rigid iTunes pricing rule, and
helping the media market rise to its current dominant position.
If Apple can't cut a deal with content providers, it's next best bet is to try to approach the middle man -- the networks that distribute them. According to
, its strongest hope lies with AT&T, Inc. (
). AT&T is a fresh face on the broadband scene and is looking to
rapidly expand its Uverse cable network
to challenge Comcast and Time Warner Cable's offerings. Plus AT&T already enjoyed a
successful union with Apple
, during the period of iPhone exclusivity.
But as much hope as there is for a deal with AT&T,
is bearish on that deal arriving this year.
"This is about the Internet. Everything on the Internet is encrypted. This is not a BlackBerry-only issue. If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis
News Corp. and Disney Plan to Yank Hulu Content, But Hope to up Subscriptions
August 20, 2012, 4:00 PM
Report: Apple to Release Set-Top Box with Live, On-Demand Content
August 17, 2012, 1:02 PM
Apple Records Q2 Revenue of $39.2B; 35.1M iPhones, 11.8M iPads Sold
April 24, 2012, 4:30 PM
AT&T Posts Strong Earnings, iPhone Activations Drop 43% from Previous Quarter
April 24, 2012, 1:18 PM
Report: Prepare for Apple Television Product
December 20, 2011, 11:05 AM
November 28, 2016, 1:01 AM
Iron Man Mechanical Keyboard
November 18, 2016, 2:28 AM
When you shop for a computer, consider what you need it for?
November 17, 2016, 1:00 AM
Here Goes Intel and AMD - Neck and Neck Again
November 14, 2016, 5:00 AM
Refurbished Desktops and More in Today’s Market
November 13, 2016, 5:00 AM
AMD Inspires Innovation Everywhere
November 12, 2016, 1:00 AM
Most Popular Articles
Sales Battle - Apple iPad Mini vs Samsung Galaxy Tab
November 29, 2016, 12:36 AM
Phillips 55’ 4K Smart TV – Is This Really a Deal? We Think So.
November 25, 2016, 9:44 AM
PlayStation 4 Pro – 4K Console for 4K TVs
November 28, 2016, 1:00 AM
Lenovo Yoga 900 and Lenovo Yogo 900S – Powerful Performance in an Ultra-Thin Packages
November 27, 2016, 5:00 AM
Best Phones of 2016 - Priced under $650.00
November 27, 2016, 5:00 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Dec 4, 2016, 5:00 AM
Dec 3, 2016, 5:00 AM
Dec 2, 2016, 5:00 AM
Surface Ergonomic Keyboard
Dec 1, 2016, 3:01 AM
Chapeconense plane crash: Football rallies around Brazilian Team
Nov 30, 2016, 1:00 AM
How to Extends Your iPhone’s Battery Life
Nov 29, 2016, 12:49 AM
Nov 28, 2016, 1:12 AM
News: Fidel Castro
Nov 27, 2016, 5:00 AM
Nov 26, 2016, 5:00 AM
Changes in Social status affect the way genes turn on and off within immune cells.
Nov 25, 2016, 5:12 AM
Austrian far–right hopeful Hofer may back EU vote.
Nov 24, 2016, 4:00 AM
Final Fantasy XV Leaked Before Nov 29 Launch Date
Nov 23, 2016, 1:00 AM
Nov 22, 2016, 2:26 AM
Nov 21, 2016, 1:00 AM
HTC Makes Big Moves in China
Nov 20, 2016, 2:00 AM
Do you know who is the number one company in the word?
Nov 19, 2016, 5:30 AM
Foldable Cardboard ”EcoHelmet” wins James Dyson Award’s Top Prize
Nov 18, 2016, 2:39 AM
Scientists Discover Roundest Object Ever Spotted in Universe
Nov 17, 2016, 1:00 AM
Smallest Device Lets You Print Almost from Anywhere
Nov 16, 2016, 9:32 AM
Cancer Screening in the Community Is there a link between Cancer and Poverty?
Nov 15, 2016, 8:00 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information