After speaking with Apple’s CFO Peter Oppenheimer and Senior VP of Internet Services Eddy Cue this week, Pacific Crest analyst Andy Hargreaves has issued an investor note to clarify that Apple is not making an HDTV any time soon.
The note specifically said
that Apple’s foray into the HDTV market is “extremely unlikely in the near-term.”
Fortune posted a piece of that note, which said that “Relative to the television market, Eddy Cue, Apple SVP of Internet Software and Services, reiterated the company’s mantra that it will enter markets where it feels it can create great customer experiences and address key problems.”
Cue told the analyst that there were basically just two hurdles to overcome – user interface and content. While Apple can pull off the interface in under a week, the content issue is a tad more complex.
Hargreaves said, “The key problems in the television market are the poor quality of the user interface and the forced bundling of pay TV content, in our view.”
“While Apple could almost certainly create a better user interface, Mr. Cue's commentary suggested that this would be an incomplete solution from Apple's perspective unless it could deliver content in a way that is different from the current multichannel pay TV model.”
And right now, it can’t. The idea is to convince cable operators to share their content (if you will) with Apple.
The Cupertino giant would undoubtedly pay a premium, but the cable companies are afraid to disrupt their business.
And everyone knows how good Apple is at disrupting.
“Unfortunately for Apple and for consumers, acquiring rights for traditional broadcast and cable network content outside of the current bundled model is virtually impossible because the content is owned by a relatively small group of companies that have little interest in alternative models for their most valuable content,” wrote Hargreaves.
He also sees “significant hurdles” that cannot be crossed at this point, such as “the differences in regional broadcast content and the lack of scale internationally.”