Known for producing trendy and innovative gadgets such as the iPod, iPhone, and iPad, Apple is looking to unveil another revolutionary, world changing device.
Word has it that Apple was looking to break into the TV market. But so far, not much has happened—some reports suggest that Apple may have hit a few snags in its attempt to develop a truly competitive TV gadget.
Fortunately, we may not have to wait much longer for Apple to create a new TV gadget or application. Recently at a Goldmans Sachs investors’ conference, Time Warner COO Rob Marcus said the company was open to the idea of partnering with a company like Apple to develop an upgraded and trendsetting interface for their pay TV subscribers. His only condition: Time Warner Cable will not “give up the customer relationship”, meaning that Time Warner wants to maintain its position as the content distributor in its partnership with Apple.
Cable companies and other content distributors are wary of partnering with Apple, because they don’t want to be on the losing end when the business paradigm for generating revenue shifts. There’s a reasonable fear that Apple may suck all the profits out of their industry; the shift to selling songs online have fattened Apple’s bottom line while encouraging the demise of traditional brick and mortar music stores and record companies. They also don’t want Apple to supplant them in the customer relationship, which could level the cable companies the same way the recording industry was.
Apple, on the other hand, doesn’t want to release a product if it’s merely “an improvement”. The company has made its name as the trendsetter in the gadget world, and a TV application or gadget that doesn’t change the way we experience or watch TV just isn’t going to cut it.
Fortunately for the cable companies, their monopoly on content distribution is pretty much established and hard to dislodge, even by powerful companies like Apple. If Apple wants content for its new TV gadget, it will have to partner with a cable company or some other content distributor.
Now that Time Warner Cable has established its willingness to work with Apple, the question is whether Apple will consider working with Time Warner so development can get started.
Statements are nice for creating buzz—but until any further announcements are made, we will just have to continue to wait for Apple TV, if it ever comes at all.