Apple reportedly zeroing in on content partners, inching iTV closer

Apple iTV Mockup
Apps, not channels could be iTV's makeup

Apple redefined the music industry more than a decade ago, and since the early 2000s, rumors have continued to persist the Cupertino company was trying to do the same for the home television.

While Apple TV has been a modest success, we've still yet to see any real proof the Apple iTV exists.

Though the past few months of Apple rumors have been focused on the iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C and the iWatch, Cupertino hasn't forgotten about the living room.

In fact, according to sources speaking to Quartz, Apple's continued pursuing the idea of a television set that could bypass the need for cable or satellite entirely, and use proprietary apps from content providers themselves.

A la Apple carte

Rather than work out a deal with cable providers, Apple has reportedly gone right to the sources of the content, and is believed to have spoken with HBO, ESPN and Viacom (home of MTV, Nickelodeon, and more) directly about bringing streaming content to its platform.

The core conceit would be to create apps based around the networks, which would fit right in with Apple's existing ecosystem.

Apple's strategy purportedly centers around its own curated paid streaming service, which would bypass the need for a cable subscription, and would get the content to the television via the internet.

This way, Apple would control the entire package, and as anyone who's familiar with the company's wide line of iDevices and computers knows, that's an extremely important must-have for Apple.

Of course, Apple's not the only company interested in an internet streaming service for televised entertainment as Intel, Google and Sony are or are thought to be developing similar plans of action.

That said, even though talks are reportedly happening, these same sources cautioned "everybody is talking with everybody" as the TV industry itself is in a state of flux.


It's taken years for cable companies to wrack up as many channels as they have, but Apple's concern at this point isn't believed to be quantity, but quality.

Apple may seek to launch iTV with a few selected partnerships which can provide a foundation, and convince other content makers to join the party down the road.

As long as there's at least one big gun out of the box, say ESPN or HBO, Apple reportedly feels confident enough in the concept it could introduce iTV to the market.

Cable companies still provide an obstacle in that sense, as the companies may not be willing to upset the status quo, damaging relationships with a sure thing over the hope of new blood.

However, with standard subscriptions dropping rapidly and internet streaming services gaining more traction over the past few years, the tide is definitely changing.

Apple's facing more competition in the streaming space from the likes of Chromecast and Roku, and could use something as potentially revolutionary as iTV to once again set itself apart from everything else that's out there.

Whenever or however Apple decides to bring iTV to the masses, there will be plenty of eyes watching, and its success or failure could well determine the course of streaming in the coming years.