Apple’s mythical television, which has gained the status of Bigfoot and UFOs in the technology media world, has again been reportedly put on hold. DisplaySearch’s supply chain sources claim that Apple has cooled to the idea of releasing its own television set in 2014 and will instead focus on wearable computers such as smartwatches. The big hangup for Apple right now, claims DisplaySearch, isn’t the television’s hardware or software but the content it will offer with its new “iTV.”
“To offer truly unique product differentiation that would allow Apple to capture market share from existing smart TV brands, they would need to either deliver some exclusive source of content that the other brands cannot, such as a la carte pay-TV channels, or proprietary content not available on other devices,” DisplaySearch explained. “Neither of these is easy to achieve, and our sources indicate this is one of the principle reasons for the delay in the project.”
This has always been the central tension in Apple’s ambitions in the television realm: How much does it really want to disrupt the current pay TV incumbent players? Recent reports have indicated that Apple may have finally grown fed up trying to work with cable companies and is instead talking directly with content providers about bringing their shows a la carte to an Apple television service. But given how reluctant companies such as HBO have been to break off from what has been a very profitable business model, it seems Apple has a way to go before it gets many important players on board.