Apple looking more and more likely to launch a TV streaming service

  • AFP
  • Updated: May 01, 2015 13:20 IST

Speculation is mounting that Apple's take of the future of TV is going to be focused on delivering a new type of service, rather than a new piece of hardware.

During a call in support of the company's earning figures, published Tuesday, Tim Cook said that "major, major" changes were coming and although as always with Apple, nothing of any substance was actually revealed, Cook confirmed that Apple could indeed be playing a role in these changes.

Despite being a famously reticent organization when it comes to discussing future plans, neither Cook nor his illustrious predecessor Steve Jobs have ever shied away from highlighting how antiquated they feel the current TV viewing experience is in the face of the tech revolution that has brought smartphones, tablet and video on demand to the masses.

For a number of years, analysts -- particularly Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray -- have been convinced that Apple is secretly building an actual large-screen television set, despite the fact that the television set business runs counter to Apple's -- there are no large margins and no yearly refresh cycle and, unless you dominate the market, like Samsung, little if any profit.

However, in recent months this view has shifted and the smart money is on a new set top box and content package. In recent weeks Apple has managed to secure an exclusive deal with HBO, making the cable channel's content available to Apple customers and only Apple customers via an app without a subscription, and a number of other equally exclusive announcements are expected in the coming months.

Adding fuel to this fire are comments from Time Warner CEO Jeffery Bewkes. On Wednesday during his own firm's earnings call, when asked he said he was "pretty confident" that Apple was about to launch a subscription streaming TV service of its own and, according to Cnet, also remarked "It's no surprise to anyone that Apple would be interested in launching a TV product."

The product in question is excepted to be officially revealed at the WWDC, which this year starts on June 8, and is tipped to be both a content package and a new Apple TV device that responds to voice commands and gestures and is geared up for console-like gaming as well as accessing iOS apps and video content via any TV with a HDMI interface.

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