Unusual rumors that have surfaced on Monday claim Apple to be in talks with Canadian cable providers Bell and Rogers regarding its fabled television set. Another source familiar with the matter reported that both already have Apple TV in their labs, though all three companies said the comment is false. “Apple is not closed to negotiating with one or two,” the source stated. “They’re looking for a partner with wireless and broadband capabilities.”
The upcoming TV set will allegedly feature Siri voice assistant to help users make programming choices using their voice as well as gesture controls. In a similar manner, viewers will also be able to activate an on-screen keyboard, surfing the web, visiting social media sites like Facebook and Twitter and conducting video charts without any physical interface.
According to Peter Misek with Jeffries, Apple’s anticipated iTV product will also function as a gaming platform, likely being interoperable with mobile devices, as the company’s patents suggest. The Cupertino handset builder, to his mind, is in a favorable position to leverage potential deals with carriers to gain access to a wide range of content. In his Monday research note, the analyst wrote: “It is likely to be offered by Verizon and AT&T in U.S. and Bell and Rogers in Canada.”
At the first sight, Apple’s initial negotiations with Bell and Rogers seem to put rival Telus Corp. at a competitive disadvantage. Sources claim, however, that Telus is on the verge of introducing new technology that would provide its customers with the ability to use voice commands and hand gestures to control its Optik TV product. Facilitated by current Xbox 360 hardware, these new features would see Telus being a pioneer with such an offering. Moreover, its Optik TV service would be extended to computers and tablets via a home Wi-Fi connection as well as to smartphones on its wireless network thanks to other upcoming enhancements.
In the meantime, broadcasters are doing their best to avoid the fate of record labels, which experienced a drastic drop in sales when Apple set its eyes on the recording industry. The content owners can attempt to position themselves to profit from the partnership, experimenting with the iPhone maker’s products.
Consumers are already demonstrating the tendency to watch shows on their own terms, moving away from traditional programming. As of January, 38% of viewers prefer to record their favorite shows rather than watch them live. This figure is down to 27% with inclusion of on-demand services like Netflix. Being major content holders, however, both Bell and Rogers will manage to generate revenue though licensing agreements even if they lose subscribers.