In a move that is not shocking in the least, Apple has begun talks with some the biggest U.S. cable operators about letting consumers use an apple device as a set-top box for live television and other content. This is not the first time the mobile development giant has tried to convince the providers to make this move. They have been talking to these guys for years and will likely be doing so right up until the release of whatever it is they are planning.
What is Apple trying to do?
Apple has been looking to expand into television for some time. It seemed that Steve Jobs realized what a pain it would be to have to create multiple deals with the many regional monopolies that are cable providers. Jobs elected to deal with one player (AT&T) instead of multiple and ended up with the Apple TV which ran through the internet to stream media content. It seems that they are taking another swing at the market with their most aggressive attempt to date. They are going after some huge companies in search of the deal they desire.
Will it work?
Past indicators are not leading to a positive end result. However there is a lot to be said for persistence. The issue lies in not only convincing the providers to allow the service to exist, but in convincing consumers to purchase a top box like device rather than rent one for 10 dollars a month. Technology and mobile development companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft have eyed the television market for a long time. Television distributers and media companies have been extremely wary of letting these mobile development giants into their markets.
What would happen?
If Apple succeeds in its move into the television world, they will undoubtedly begin to steal customers away from cable companies. In a story that is becoming repetitive, we will likely see some of the cable companies run to Google/Motorola or even Microsoft. The ability to connect our phones, computers, and tablets with our television is an attractive idea for consumers. However cable providers and television makers will be much less happy with the concept as it could spell the death of their companies. This is one of the causes for Apples current difficulty.
What I Think
The idea of mobile development companies pushing into the television world is not an unwelcome one for me. The regional monopoly that many cable providers hold has been old for a long time and to many people, frustrating. It is the nature of the environment for competition to help keep prices at a reasonable level. When you are the only provider servicing and area, it pretty much means that you can set a price and people have to pay it if they want television. This is extremely troublesome to me.
As far as Apple TV, Google TV, or Microsoft whatever they bring to the table go, I donÔÇÖt have a problem with it. I am interested to see where it will lead, but chances are if one makes it in, the others will follow. This means we could see competition added to our television providers and the cost to have them. As we move towards integrating technology into our lives, why not start to connect internet and television to our mobile devices? For cable providers and television makers, my recommendation would be to pick a side now. These mobile development giants are looking to move in and as the past shows, they prefer to partner into it rather than create their own service.
Apple TV has been a dream for the mobile development company for years now and it apparently has no plans of letting it go. Apple has been approaching some very large companies with their proposals in an attempt to further their TV plans. The mobile development world is ready and waiting and ultimately the we just have to sit and wait to see who succeeds first.