One of the biggest mysteries regarding Apple’s rumored TV set, other than whether it really exists or not, is how Apple plans to push content to the device. A major advantage of the television is expected to be its easy-to-use interface, and there’s only so much Apple could do with your everyday cable or dish connection.

In a note to investors this morning, Jeffries analyst Peter Misek laid out four ways that Apple could get around the need for a third party set top box and remote control…

Option one, as Misek explains, would be for Apple to partner with carriers and cable operators. This would put Apple’s TV set on par, as far as content goes, with the rest of its competition, but it would also be extremely difficult. There are hundreds of regional cable providers in the US alone, imagine how many there are in the world.

Misek’s next theory involves Apple going directly to the content-makers, and working with them to create custom groups of channels. Imagine being able to pick what shows, and what channels you want a la carte, instead of paying for hundreds of them that you don’t watch. And considering Apple’s clout in the entertainment industry, this could be a feasible option.

Of course, Apple could also go the Netflix route and buy rights to exclusive content. You want to watch (insert popular TV show)? You’ll need an Apple TV set. Just last month we heard a rumor that Apple could be bidding for exclusive rights to English Premier League games and events, so this option is a possibility as well.

Finally, Misek suggests that Apple could become its own studio and produce its own content. This option is about as far-fetched as they come, but hey, it could happen. With $100 billion in cash laying around, there’s not much that isn’t possible.

Apple TV rumors have been really heating up over the past few months. The set is expected to sport a number of features already available in Apple’s current iOS devices, such as Siri and FaceTime, and could launch as early as this year.


  • That would be the sickest TV known to mankind

    • Well… For 12 months when iTV2 will have some feature it could have had in version 1 easily. Would still have to plug into other box’s regardless. Could have blueray built in etc etc, but will be a big direct link to apples wallet yet again. And who wants to feel they should update their tv every year anyway?

      Just get an appletv 2 and save over a grand, and not worry about a tv show changing channels because Sheldon on big bang theory mentioned Siri’s name?

  • Can’t wait to jailbreak that baby!

  • the key to the iTv is going to have to be “mid to long term investment.” It’s going to have to be relevant for a minimum of 4-5 years. I would be EXTREMELY surprised if Apple released a newer, thinner, lighter iTV on a yearly basis. Its quite obvious that other manufacturers release new tv models every year but people don’t generally replace their TV’s every year… If the Apple tv is just as nice as the Samsung smart tv’s, I’d definitely finally re-invest. I’ve had my Samsung now for 5 years and it’s time for an upgrade baby!

  • Anonymous

    What about CableCard?

    IN THEORY, a device with a built in cable card could receive cable transmissions and display them. Even if all it could process is ClearQAM (unencrypted stuff) there are still a fair number of channels you could get out of it.

    Also of course, you could support over the air HDTV which would be enough for a lot of sports fans.

    However all you’d really have to do is support a few major cable providers for full access and the rest of the smaller providers would beg to be able to add support. The hardware could easily support adding more support on the fly.