Despite multiple reports, Bloomberg today confirms that there will not be a new Apple Television this year. Apple has reportedly been working with cable providers on a deal that would bring a new Apple set-top box to market that would offer live TV. While this still may be going on, the prospects for a new Apple TV for 2012 seem to have evaporated according to sources.
When Apple entered the music and mobile space, those industries were in a position that led to them being more responsive to a partnership of sorts with Apple. While Steve Jobs may have cracked the code on a better solution for TV, the next hurdle of negotiating a deal with cable companies to offer an Apple TV might not be so easy. These appear to be the very same hurdles faced by TiVo for the past decade. They have a solution that is a vast improvement over cable company set top boxes, but have seen a slower adoption rate due to the resistance of the companies who want to control the experience.
The reports indicates that negotiations are ongoing and appear to be furthest along with Time Warner Cable, Inc. This wouldn’t be surprising, given their dominance in NY and Los Angeles areas.
“Unlike other distributors, we are not religiously wedded to absolutely controlling the user interface,” said Robert Marcus, chief operating officer of Time Warner Cable.
This deal could have symmetry with the original AT&T deal. Remember when Verizon wouldn’t budge? If Apple is able to secure a favorable deal on this new Apple Television, even if it’s with just one cable company, success could help garner more leverage with the rest of industry.