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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Daily Report: Apple Works With TV Industry on ‘Grand Vision’

Apple, in its efforts to reimagine television as it did the cellphone, is collaborating with distributors like Time Warner Cable and programmers like the Walt Disney Company on apps that might eliminate the unpleasant parts of TV watching, like bothersome set-top boxes or clunky remote controls, Brian Stelter reports in The New York Times.

Apple’s broader strategy â€" what its chief executive, Timothy D. Cook, recently called its “grand vision” for television â€" remains shrouded in secrecy, as everything Apple-related tends to be. Some analysts continue to predict, as they have for years, that the company will someday come out with a full-blown television set.

Whether or not an iTV ever materializes, the company’s more modest steps, like improving the $100 Apple TV box that 13 million households now have and adding access to cable channels through the box, suggest that its strategy stands in stark contrast to Google’s, which is contemplating an Internet cable service that would compete directly with distributors like Comcast and Time Warner Cable.

Reports emerged earlier this week that Google has held talks with several channel owners about licensing channels for such a service, but no content deals are within reach.

Apple weighed something similar years ago, but its executives concluded that it should work with the industry’s powerful incumbents, rather than against them.

“Apple’s probably going to have greater access to content by deciding to cooperate,” said Natalie Clayton, who oversees digital video research for Frank N. Magid Associates.