Thoughts on Apple’s new Apple TV and What it Could Be

Thoughts on Apple’s new Apple TV and What it Could Be

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photo credit: Martin Gommel via photopin cc

It's no secret that Apple has quietly been working on a new Apple TV, be it a physical television, or some sort of service extension to its existing Apple TV. If you remember, Apple likes to enter existing markets where it can revolutionize the space. Remember the iPod and the iTunes Store? They blew the doors off existing services and haven't looked back since, making a ton of money for not only themselves but the music producers and artists. The iPhone, which totally changed the mobile phone marketplace and “inspired” technology companies such as Samsung to create their own revolutionary devices, was also something that completely shifted the direction of an industry.

Everyone is making guesses about what the next big thing coming out of Cupertino will be. Taking into consideration what we know about Apple, and how it likes to improve established industries, I want to offer my two cents about what I think the next Apple TV is going to be.

Word is, Apple has been negotiating with cable providers for their new Apple TV. This could mean Apple is developing a set top box or a fully integrated solution built into a TV set. While that idea has legs, why would cable providers like DirectTV, Time Warner, Comcast, etc. want Apple to create a device that would alter how they provide TV service? I think we need to look at what Apple has done in the past to get a better idea of what they may actually be doing.

With the iPod and iTunes, they went directly to the music producers to get the rights to initially sell the songs for 99 cents, with Apple taking a 30% cut. Imagine this: Apple negotiating with the individual cable networks so that it could provide its own cable subscription service.

Could you imagine Apple going to AMC to offer their channel for a 99 cent per month subscription. ESPN for 99 cents per month. NBC for 99 cents per month. Do you get the idea? The consumers would be able to pick what channels they want to watch without having to pay for cable packages that include channels they have no interest in watching. Sorry Hallmark, I wouldn't be subscribing. Let's say you have 20 to 25 channels you watch on a monthly basis. You simply setup a subscription for them via the iTunes store, and the service goes through Apple TV – either the existing set top box or the unreleased TV set. My personal cable bill would go from over $100 a month to $25 (if I choose 25 channels to subscribe to).  The pricing model is just a guess and most likely may vary by channel.

Of course, this is all speculation, but in my mind it makes sense. Given what Apple did with music, I could totally see them doing something like this for cable TV. If I were a cable provider, I would be very afraid about this prospect. Apple may be on the verge of completely revolutionizing the way we watch TV and would totally transform the cable television landscape as we know it.

What do you think? Do you think it's possible Apple might pull off something this bold?

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