Apple is reportedly in the process of engineering a brand new Apple TV device that functions as a set top box to allow users to watch live television from cable providers. The report comes from the WSJ (subscription required) who say that they have information from ‘people familiar with the matter’ and say that the new device is essentially Apple’s way of delivering live TV content to users, without having to go through the licensing issues directly with content providers. However, the report does also suggest that Apple has not yet reached a deal with cable operators citing a reluctance to give up control of the Cable TV market to Apple.
The report suggests that the new device will cost in the hundreds of dollars through an up front payment which is a little more than the existing Apple TV device, presumably due to the inclusion of extra technology such as onboard storage. Current cable boxes are normally paid through a monthly subscription and therefore, it’ll be interesting to see what the killer selling point of the new device is, other than being engineered by Apple.
It’s likely that such a device would feature strong integration with iOS devices, and as such, could be compatible with AirPlay. Whether or not it will feature an OS that would enable apps to run is the question, as this could certainly be the unique selling point.
Of course, those people familiar with the matter may not be as familiar as one would hope.