Apple’s attempts to break into the TV industry are proving to be difficult and time-consuming. According to Bloomberg, Apple won’t be releasing a new TV product like the rumored Apple set-top box this year, as analysts had predicted, because talks with media companies have stalled. Apple is competing with others like Google, Microsoft, and Amazon, and needs to be the first to make a deal with media companies and cable providers before anything can move forward.
In August it was reported that Apple was in talks with major cable operators to let consumers use a set-top box to watch both television and Internet-based content. This new set-top box was also rumored to feature a cloud-based DVR service so users could watch any show on-demand at any time once it has begun airing by storing content in the cloud.
One of the issues stalling negotiations is who will have control over the software that determines the screen interface. It has been rumored that it will have icons similar to iOS like on the current Apple TV, rather than the user interfaces seen on existing cable boxes. Apple has apparently made some progress with Time Warner Cable, but a deal is nowhere near being reached.
One of Apple’s biggest obstacles with a set-top box would be having to persuade cable subscribers to buy the box directly instead of renting it from a cable provider. Another obstacle is actually reaching deals with cable providers or media companies who have no real incentive to let Apple into the industry.
According to reports, Apple might be changing its tactics in its attempt to secure live broadcasts by leasing the boxes through cable companies. Although nothing is certain at this point, we know one thing for sure: Apple will not be releasing a new set-top box in 2012.