Apple TV/cable box concept?
There's been talk about a full fledged Apple TV set for the past 2 years. I personally don't see this happening due to the costs involved in building a tv and the space TV inventory would take up inside Apple Stores.
Instead of an Apple TV set, how about if Apple came together with the cable companies and built them an Apple TV/cable box combo? Currently, I paid $7 for a FIOS HD cable box manufactured by Motorola. How awesome would it be if we had an option to get an Apple TV cable box for $10/month. It would essentially be an Apple TV but have a cable guide and all the other bells/whistles from the cable company built into it. Instead of selling Apple tv boxes to customers, Apple can just sell them to cable companie who would then rent them out to end users (instead of the more expensive motorola/cisco boxes).
Benefits to Apple - they sell more apple tv boxes, maybe make a little something extra by coming up with a revenue sharing agreement with the cable companies ($10/month = $7 to cable company + $3 to Apple)
Benefits to cable companies - The cost of apple tv boxes is substantially lower than the cost of motorola/cisco cable boxes, they maintain their monthly fee for renting out cable boxes (potentially for more than they get for their current boxes).