Apple's much-hinted-at subscription TV service may become a reality before the end of the year. The iPhone maker is in talks with TV programmers to offer a Web-based subscription TV service that would launch in the fall, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday, citing unidentified sources.
The Journal's report appears to bolster an article by Recode last month that Apple was in early talks with programmers to offer a Web-based subscription service. Programmers had been shown demos of how the service might work, but timing and pricing were still unknown.
"TV is a hard problem to solve," Eddy Cue, Apple senior vice president of Internet software and services, said in May. "One of the problems you have with a TV is you have a disparate system with a bunch of providers. There's no standards. There's a lot of rights issues."
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WSJ reported a year ago that Apple was teaming up with Comcast on a set-top box that would take advantage of priority internet traffic, talks between the two are said to have broken down, meaning that the service at present won't include channels from Comcast-owned NBCUniversal. The WSJ's sources say Apple decided that Comcast was "stringing it along" while diverting effort to develop its own X1 box.
Last week Apple scored a major media deal when it secured exclusive rights to HBO's over-the-top streaming service for three months, and it also dropped the price of the Apple TV to $69 (approx Rs. 4327). Rumors of a TV service, a new set-top box, or an entirely new TV itself have been floated for many years; 2015 could be the year that Apple starts to get a grip on the tangled TV industry.