Reports: Apple in Talks with Comcast Over ‘Next Evolution of Apple TV’

In this Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, file photo, the Apple logo is illuminated in the entrance to the Fifth Avenue Apple store, in New York. Apple Inc. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File) (Mark Lennihan)
In this Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, file photo, the Apple logo is illuminated in the entrance to the Fifth Avenue Apple store, in New York. Apple Inc. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File) (Mark Lennihan)

Apple is reportedly in talks with Comcast to provide high-quality, streaming television content through the Apple TV box, the latest sign of the Cupertino tech giant’s continued interest in changing how we watch TV in the same way it changed the way we use smartphones with the iPhone.

Negotiations are in the early stages, and many challenges remain to complete the deal, anonymous sources told the Wall Street Journal.

But Apple has long had interest in the television industry, with Steve Jobs telling biographer Walter Isaacson that he “licked it” when talking about Apple’s TV plans and the company rumored to be working on everything from its own flat-screen television to upgraded versions of its Apple TV box to new ways to control TVs with iPhones and iPads. Apple’s strength in combining hardware and software to produce an easier-to-use experience for consumers has fueled intense interest in its plans for TVs, which are plagued by complicated remotes, complex program schedules and convoluted instructions to connect televisions and speakers and receivers together.

“This is going to be the next evolution as the Apple television at some point will be launched not just as a TV box, but a revolutionary way to home entertainment,” said Laurence Balter, chief market strategist with Oracle Investment Research in Hawaii. “Right now, they need to corner the market on content. If they didn’t do this and suppose they launch their TV set, everyone would watch Netflix, and Apple wouldn’t get a penny. This is about keeping the revenue stream flowing in their direction.”

The partnership would essentially take the place of the traditional cable set-top box and allow users to stream live and on-demand TV programs and digital-video recordings stored in the cloud to all their Apple devices. It would also provide a high-quality streaming service and not suffer the hiccups or buffering that can happen when streaming Web video, according to the Journal report.

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SOURCE: Julia Prodis Sulek
Mercury News

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