Thursday, August 16, 2012

Would It Matter If Your Cable Box Came From Apple?

Since the Steve Jobs bio came out, there has been speculation that Apple was going to enter into the TV marketplace; a new manufactured television or more refinement to Apple TV.  Well the news today is that Apple has  been talking to the big cable operators about an Apple branded set top box.  "Apple is wooing cable operators for an Apple-branded set-top box for live TV and other programming, according to a report."

Today cable subscribers rent their cable boxes; the challenge would be selling consumers a set-top box.  Others, like TiVo, have tried to enter this space with a branded, beautifully built, consumer friendly box, but cable operators have made it harder to easily integrate them.  The CableCard is a lousy solution.  Still TiVo has made slow and steady inroads with some operators. Google has entered the set-top box race with its purchase of Motorola but has yet to do anything to integrate Google in those boxes.  So one wonders whether it would make any sense for Apple to jump start their push into cable by purchasing Scientific Atlanta, now owned by Cisco, or even TiVo.

With cable operators contending with cable subscriber drops, an ally like Apple could help make broadband and cable a better integrative experience, encouraging consumers to want to continue to have both a broadband and cable subscription.  Apple's ability to integrate with its iPad and iPhone could make having an Apple set top box a must have device.

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