Apple in talks with Comcast to develop TV service, reports say

San Jose Mercury NewsMarch 25, 2014 

Apple Inc. is reportedly in talks with Comcast Corp. to provide high-quality, streaming television content through the Apple TV box, the latest sign of the Cupertino, Calif., tech giant’s continued interest in changing how we watch TV in the same way the iPhone changed the way we use cellphones.

Negotiations are in the early stages, and many challenges remain to complete the deal, anonymous sources told The Wall Street Journal.

But Apple has long had interest in the television industry, with Steve Jobs telling biographer Walter Isaacson that he “licked it” when talking about Apple’s TV plans. “This is going to be the next evolution as the Apple television at some point will be launched not just as a TV box, but a revolutionary way to home entertainment,” said Laurence Balter, chief market strategist with Oracle Investment Research in Hawaii. “Right now, they need to corner the market on content. If they didn’t do this and suppose they launch their TV set, everyone would watch Netflix, and Apple wouldn’t get a penny. This is about keeping the revenue stream flowing in their direction.”

The partnership would take the place of the traditional cable set-top box. If Apple and Comcast team up, analysts say, the deal could be huge for Apple and Comcast customers and should strike fear into the Netflixes and Hulus of the world.

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