Consumers are wondering when the next generation of Apple TV will be launched, and there has been speculation that a revamped Apple TV set-top box could prove to be a centerpiece for the fall 2015 product lineup.
Analyst Gene Munster predicts that for the next generation Apple TV there will be updated hardware and software that will integrate content, gaming, and HomeKit support. Munster also reported that Apple has been in talks with content providers to develop its own content service like Sling TV.
New Capabilities for the Apple lover
The next generation of AppleTV is said to bring gaming support allowing the set-top box to double as a gaming console. iLounge reported last year that developers are currently working on Bluetooth controller options, and it’s expected that games could be downloaded directly to the Apple TV rather than relying on another iOS device as an intermediary.
Apple is also looking to take things a step further with its set-top box and become more than a platform that delivers content such as Netflix.
Last year Apple was testing a built-in TV tuner that would allow users to control their existing cable boxes with an Apple-designed user-interface layered on top. This would make Apple TV a TV Guide and navigational menu – 9to5Mac
There has also been speculation that Apple is trying to partner up with the US cable company, TWC, and if the TV tuner came to be, the two could potentially start a content partnership.
Cable and Apple joining forces?
In a 2014 US Federal Communication Commission filing from TWC and Comcast, there was a brief mention of Apple. There has been no direct evidence linking Apple and TWC together, but what if Apple needs TWC in order to become a main player in the content space?
Apple at one point had mentioned the idea of seeking an a-la-carte cable service, but now they are seeking an arrangement where they would receive content from exisiting cable companies, such as TWC, and internet providers to be overlaid with Apple’s TV-style interface. Any way you look at it, you will need a cable subscription.
Apple has more recently been in conversations with television programmers about a web-based TV service that would allow Apple to deliver customized television packages. They would essentially be streamed over the internet providing access to multiple channels from participating content providers; this service would also include Apple’s interface.
The digital age is changing. Streaming is attracting more and more consumers and their needs are affecting the decisions of cable companies; would it be in the interest of cable companies to partner with Apple? Potentially. Cable companies could raise the price of their content when pricing it to Apple, but that would in turn cause consumer costs to go up. However, partnering with Apple could bring more consumers to the cable side if they want to be able to purchase that content. This could be the “beginning to a beautiful friendship.”