Apple, Making Deals with Cable Companies for a “New TV Product”?

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There were rumors that Apple held talks with some major cable companies in the US. It was said that the deal has something to do with a “new TV product”, although there were claims that a debut of a potential Apple television set won’t be imminent.

New TV Product from Apple, Anyone?

The rumors about a new Apple TV product gained traction earlier last week after a research note from James Kisner of Jefferies & Co.’s was published. However, it was discovered that the information it contained was actually a rehash of an earlier note that Kisner made last October 19.

Based on the month-old note, it was revealed that at least one major cable operator in the US was estimating the additional capacity needed for a new Apple device on their broadband network. This suggests an “imminent launch” of an Apple TV. However, AllThingsD’s John Paczkowski downplayed the speculation last Friday.

If Apple were close to launching a new service, it would almost certainly be in touch with TV programmers about new arrangements, and we haven’t heard anything along those lines.

Meanwhile, he revealed that Apple held talks with a “few large cable operators” about an unnamed “new TV product”. Paczkowski also suggested that those talks likely prompted at least one cable operator to do “due diligence on capacity issues and whatnot.” This could also be the information that was relayed to Kisner.

There are still a lot of missing pieces here, and while a major cable providers running what-if scenarios on a rumored Apple product is certainly interesting, it’s not necessarily a trumpet fanfare announcing its imminent arrival.

Apple TV—An Unlikely Product

Rumors about a TV set from Apple have persisted for years, although the company’s executive Eddy Cue pointed out last August that such product is unlikely. That’s because it would require deals for content.

He also added that Apple could create a better television users interface. However, that alone is not enough.

Earlier this year, there were claims that Apple was considering building a new set top box that would handle live TV. However, The Wall Street Journal said that the Cupertino-based company had not reached any deals with cable operators. This could be attributed to the idea that the cable operators may be reluctant about letting Apple into the live TV space. Nevertheless, the announcement and release of an Apple TV remain to be seen.

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