Apples much-anticipated entrance in the TV market seems have taken a different turn. Instead of a Siri-powered slim and shiny TV set, Apple is now looking at building a set-top box, according to reports from the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg.
The speculation over Apples latest plans for the TV industry has been fueled by recent meetings with media executives who were seeking updates on the companys plans. Naturally, Apple didnt tell them much, but the reports suggest Apple is working on a set-top box that can carry live TV and online content, not the full-fledged Siri device everyone was talking about.
The rationale behind an Apple set-top box would allow the company to partner with cable providers to access channels available for subscribers already, instead of multiple separate deals with content producers. Following the model used for the iPhone with carriers, cable providers could subsidize the cost of the set-top box, helping it to establish a foothold in the market.
However, Apples talks with media companies and services are nothing new. As Ryan Lawler points out at TechCrunch, Apple has been in talks with carriers such as AT&T and Verizon about some sort of TV since February. Whats interesting is that if Apple is indeed pursuing the set-top box model, then we might see something similar to the way Microsoft is leveraging the Xbox 360 with service providers.
The Xbox 360 has Comcast, HBO and MLB content, and Apple would be able to add similar apps to its $99 Apple TV thats already on the market. That device already supports MLB and WSJ Live video content. Depending on your service provider, users would be able to access live and on-demand video through a revamped Apple TV, regardless of whether its just a set-top box you can get for free from your cable provider or for a price, directly from Apple, leaving space for full-fledged TV set later down the line.