Today, however, the Wall Street Journal reported that the television’s features may already be in the works. According to the Journal’s sources, Apple is visiting media companies in a sort of technology pitch roadshow. These companies want to know about Apple’s plans, which are generally kept extremely confidential, in order to know whether the TV venture is worth joining.
Citing sources familiar with the matter, the WSJ said that the strategy could consist of a wide range of initiatives, from the widely reported story of an Apple-branded connected TV with wireless streaming for porting around content or remote control from a mobile device, to voice-enabled content discovery and search, to a centralised authentication function that would allow a single sign-in and content access across multiple screens, including iPhone, TVs and iPads.
The TV push is the brainchild, like many other things, of late CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs, sources added, who envisioned an Apple-led transformation in the way that consumers watch TV.
The idea is to build technology that would allow users to “stream video from mobile devices to their televisions, without a set-top box,” the Journal reported. The Apple TV product enables this via AirPlay, but in a somewhat rudimentary fashion.
Apple is looking to not only act as a change agent, but also, of course, take a piece of the more than $150 billion that TV generates in revenue per year in the U.S. in advertising and monthly pay-TV subscriptions.
The Apple TV strategy of offering a way to play iTunes rentals or purchases on the living-room screen has generated lukewarm interest from consumers and some suspicion from media owners. Plus, as an over-the-top service it hasn’t had the benefit of support from cable, satellite and IPTV companies. Now, the Journal’s sources say Apple is in talks with pay-TV operators about a potential partnership strategy; it’s also seriously considering creating its own streaming subscription TV service that would bypass them.