Apple Inc. (AAPL: Quote) is in discussions with some cable operators in the U.S. to facilitate the use of a device from the technology giant as a set-top box for live television, the Wall Street Journal reported, quoting people familiar with the matter.
Apple CEO Tim Cook had met with Time Warner Cable Inc.'s (TWC) CEO Glenn Britt last month on the sidelines of the annual media conference hosted by Allen & Co. in Sun Valley, Idaho.
Time Warner is said to be one of the cable operators talking to Apple, although the iPod maker is said to have not reached a deal with any operator.
Apple already has an Apple TV box for $99, which facilitates the access of some internet video on television sets, but not live channels that are offered by cable operators.
A set top box from Apple may be for hundreds of dollars, while a device can be rented from the cable operator for $10 to $15 per month. Samsung Electronics Co. (SSNLF.PK,SSNNF.PK) already has set top boxes on offer, but not with a significant impact on the market.
It is also said that cable operators may be hesitant to let Apple gain a firm footing in the television business. They were concerned in the past that Apple could dilute their relationship with customers if it had a role with the set top box.
Also, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs did not approve of the idea over two years ago, as cable operators did not have a national reach. Another issue was that the content is owned mostly by entertainment companies.
AAPL closed on Wednesday at $630.83, down $0.86 or 0.14 percent, on 9.2 million shares. The stock rose 0.1 percent in the extended trade.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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