Apple would also need to persuade significant numbers of consumers to buy a set-top box for what could be hundreds of dollars rather than rent one from their cable operators for $10 to $15 a month. Electronics makers such as TiVo and Samsung already sell set-top boxes, so far without making a big impact on the market.
The talks illustrate that Apple is seeking a less radical path to expand in television than it has contemplated in the past, namely teaming up with existing service providers rather than licensing content to compete with them directly.
If there is one company that could fix the slow, buggy, awkward, and counterintuitive software the plagues cable and satellite boxes, it’s Apple. Imagine a PVR that can stream to your iPads, iPhones and Macs, and even the ability to transfer shows to those devices. Coupled with an App Store and a revolutionary interface, Apple would be in a position to do what tech companies have tried to do for the last 20 years – take over the living room.
Priced at $299 or less – it would fly off the shelves.