Apple iTV is set to revolutionise broadcast television if the Cupertino giant has its way, according to analysts Shaw Wu and Sterne Agee. They firmly believe that the company will want to offer internet-based paid subscriptions and offer customised channel lineups, effectively going head-to-head with Virgin Media and Sky in the UK.
Essentially, the system will work like Talk Talk TV (nee Tiscali TV) - the service that is still active to existing subscribers, but no longer accepting new signups. All TV programming will be streamed via the Internet, effectively giving the viewer complete control over what channels they require as part of their subscription.
Obviously, this would require a decent broadband connection and licensing deals with all of the stations that are available, but if enacted would become a unique proposition (being built into a TV set from the get go) and would give Apple a jump over other set manufacturers:
"This is obviously much more complicated (than current offerings) from a licensing standpoint," said Wu in a statement to investors. "And in our view, would change the game for television and give AAPL a big leg-up against the competition.
"Today, iTunes has a rich library of movies and TV shows but it is mostly for downloads and only movies are available for rentals (TV shows once were but were terminated in August 2011)," he added. "What's missing is live broadcast television."
In the US, it has already been revealed that Apple approached CBS for a potential streaming TV deal, but the network declined, favouring to license its own content. The UK may be an even harder nut to crack, considering governmental involvement in broadcasting in general and the BBC specifically.
It also remains to be seen what Apple will call its offering in the UK, with broadcaster ITV willing to go to battle over its name and brand identity. It is unlikely that the tech company will localise names, as it's not in its nature to so, so we'd expect the final moniker to be different globally (iTelly, anyone?).
If it is to sort out licensing deals and the name, Apple will have to get a wriggle on if it's to meet the rumoured Christmas 2012 release date.
Are you interested in Apple iTV (or whatever it will be called)? Will it "revolutionise television"? Let us know in the comments below...