Time Warner would give control of the TV UI to Apple but wants to keep ‘customer relationship’

Will Apple fans buy a device that doesn’t have the Apple logo plastered everywhere? That’s the question being considered in Cupertino and elsewhere amid a report media giant Time Warner Cable may give Apple control of a TV user interface — with a catch. Time Warner wants to retain the “customer relationship,” not Apple.

Time Warner Cable is “hard at work at a cloud-based guide experience,” according to the Hollywood Reporter. The cable giant wants the new interface on the iPad and iPhone. However, speaking to investors Wednesday, president and COO Rob Marcus said Time Warner is not willing to give up the customer experience…

“The company is committed to ensuring people know its TV services are provided by TW Cable and not any device maker or third party,” the publication writes. In other words, the cable television firm doesn’t want to disappear behind all of Apple’s glitz, like some anonymous parts maker in China.

Whether Apple — known for its culture of control — will give up a little in order to get a deal is unclear. After years of speculation that the company might offer an Apple-branded HDTV, the company said such a product was unlikely due to problems obtaining licensing. This report may indicate there is some wiggle-room after all.

But little is the keyword. Don’t expand some revolutionary product that does for television viewing what the iPhone did for phone calls. Instead, more likely is that Apple and the content owners could agree on evolving the current Apple TV unit into a set-top box akin to TiVo.

What do you think? Are Time Warner Cable’s comments enough to revive a dying dream of tech fans to have an Apple-branded TV in the front room? Or is this report just retreaded rumors befitting cancellation?