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Apple's set-top box reportedly won't arrive this year

Apple's set-top box reportedly won't arrive this year


Content deals still holding up Apple's plans, but it's unclear who's at fault

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Apple's said to be working on a set-top box that many hope will revolutionize the way we watch TV, but according to The Information, we shouldn't expect to see it this year. The project has reportedly been held up by Apple's inability to strike the necessary deals with cable providers, which are said to be concerned that Apple might eventually replace them as the company that consumers look to when they're shopping for TV services. The potential merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable is also reported to be one of the issues that Apple sees as holding up the deal.

The new timeline reportedly eyes 2015

Of course, rights issues have long been reported to be one of the major roadblocks in Apple's plan to take on TV. But The Information also reports that, while Apple is blaming cable providers for the holdup, cable providers see Apple as trying to grapple with more than it can handle. It will certainly be a convoluted and difficult journey to acquire those rights — particularly should Apple want to do anything new and interesting with the service — and it's not known just how far Apple has gotten. Already, it sounds as though Apple has conceded that it cannot create the service on its own and will need to rely on cable providers for rights and infrastructure.

The Information reports that Apple is now working off of a timeline that pegs its TV product's launch as next year, though it is unclear how firm of a date that is. The new product is reported to be a set-top box that would make it easy to access any show, be it new or old, though it's not known exactly how far that would go. Earlier reports suggest that Apple may have toned down its plans for how much content the device can actually offer, likely as a means of making it easier to secure rights. For now, Apple still has the Apple TV to work with for giving people access to on-demand content. The Apple TV has increasingly offered more live content too, but it's still a very basic product that's rife with untapped potential.