Apple’s foray into Television

No one knows for sure what Apple is working on for a breakthrough into the Television business. But expectations are high that Apple would announce something quite dramatic this fall.

No, they are not going to introduce a new piece of TV hardware. Plenty of high-tech TV’s are available from the likes of Samsung, Sony, etc. What Apple will do is revolutionize the content business for the consumer, much like what it did with the music business via iPod and iTunes.

I just read this:

The television industry is based on cable and advertisers setting up assorted tollbooths between the viewer and what they want to watch. Getting to your show means paying a cable bill, running through a buggy user guide, and sitting through commercials.

What if you could just pay for whatever you wanted when you wanted it? That would change the entire industry. That’s most likely what Apple’s working on and the revolution could be led by ESPN.

ESPN is owned by Disney and Apple has a very close link with Disney (the CEO of Disney sits on Apple’s board and the late Steve Jobs sat on Disney’s board after selling Pixar for $7.4B). Apple could provide ESPN directly to viewers for a fee which should be cheaper than what cable companies charge. What about the same for HBO? The cable industry pays for contents and sells them to the viewer as various expensive packages. Apple may bring the “liberation” and easier choice to viewers. That would shake up the cable industry for sure.

Of course Disney would not like to alienate the cable companies because of the revenue stream it collects from them. So the deal with Apple would be tricky.

Even Apple’s simple device AppleTV enables wireless transmission between your computer and the TV set. It claims to sell 3 million units of that per year. A revamped iTune store with better contents such as ESPN, HBO and the like, would be welcome at last.

So let’s wait till the fall for Apple’s announcement!

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