Steve Jobs had big plans for Apple TV before his death, but with fresh rumours arising that there may be no Apple TV update in 2012, these ambitions may have stalled.
According to Bloomberg, there will be no new Apple TV product this year. The reason given by its source is continued difficulties in negotiations with American media companies.
As we reported in August, Apple is looking to evolve its Apple TV product beyond merely a way to stream internet-based film and TV content to your TV through an attractive UI. It's now looking to incorporate traditional broadcast services, turning the Apple TV into a one-stop set-top box.
It was noted back then that Apple was negotiating with a number of cable operators in the US to make this a reality. However, it was also suggested that negotiations weren't going smoothly owing to Apple's typically robust demands.
One analyst believes that this strong-arm approach won't cut it as it did in the music and mobile industries with iTunes and the iPhone respectively.
“It’s not a nice, simple, easy story that Apple is going to come in and turn the world upside-down" says Craig Moffett of Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., adding that the suggestion of an imminent Apple TV-with-cable product launch "ignores the business realities that make this such a complicated industry."
The problem is that the television industry in the US is far healthier and more organised than the music and mobile industries were at the time Apple came knocking. They won't be persuaded into any deals cheaply.
In terms of specific points of contention, the report claims that the two parties disagree on matters ranging from the streamlined UI that Apple wants to apply to the fact that Apple wants to continue selling its Apple TV boxes outright rather than leasing them through the cable providers.
The result of this will be, according to Moffett, no Apple TV update in 2012. Hopefully there'll be a breakthrough in time for a major 2013 relaunch - we really do have too many remote controls right now.