Archive of Apple TV Rumors

Over the past couple of weeks, rumors have leaked pointing towards an Apple-branded streaming television service that could include 25 channels for $30 to $40 per month with partners like CBS, ABC, and Fox. NBC and parent company Comcast are not part of the negotiations, and according to a new report from Re/code, that's because Apple has not approached Comcast about a partnership.

Earlier rumors about the streaming television service suggested NBC's absence from the upcoming package was due to a falling out between Apple and Comcast, but on Thursday, Comcast said that wasn't true in a letter that it sent to the Federal Communications Commission. Comcast's letter was a response to a filing from Stop Mega Comcast, a group that's opposed to a Comcast-Time Warner merging, and in it, Comcast said Apple had not even approached NBC for a content deal.

appletv.png
Stop Mega Comcast's note, filed on Wednesday, said, "Comcast may be withholding affiliated NBCUniversal ("NBCU") content in an effort to thwart the entry of potential new video competitors." The note cited a recent Wall Street Journal report that said Apple wasn't talking to NBCUniversal because of a "falling-out between Apple and NBCUniversal parent company Comcast."

That's a bit right but mostly wrong, Comcast attorney Francis Buono wrote to the FCC: "Not only has NBCUniversal not 'withheld' programming from Apple's new venture, Apple has not even approached NBCUniversal with such a request." I've asked Apple for comment.
It is not clear why Apple has not approached NBC about a possible content deal for its most recent streaming television efforts, but Apple and Comcast have attempted to negotiate a deal in the past, which didn't pan out. The Wall Street Journal has suggested that earlier talks failed to establish a deal due to Comcast's focus on its own X1 web streaming platform.

As noted by Re/code, Apple could initiate talks with NBC in the future or potentially take advantage of a clause in the contract that was established when Comcast and NBC merged several years back, which would force NBC to license its content to Apple if Apple were able to establish deals with the company's competitors.

Apple may be planning to debut its streaming television service at this year's Worldwide Developers Conference in June. Many of the details about the service remain unknown, including the channel lineup Apple is aiming for, but the company is said to be in talks with ABC, CBS, Fox, Disney, ESPN, Discovery, and Viacom, which would give Apple access to channels like Animal Planet, TLC, MTV, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon.

The streaming television service may be accompanied by a revamped set-top box, rumored to include an A8 processor, expanded storage, an App Store, and Siri support.
Just a day after adding TED, Tastemade, and Young Hollywood channels to the Apple TV, Apple has added yet another new channel to its set-top box -- CNNGo.

CNNGo is CNN's service that lets users watch live news coverage and see segments from the past 24 hours. It also includes recent CNN coverage and films on demand. The service has previously been available on CNN.com and via the CNN iPad app.

cnngo_apple_tv_menu
Much of the content within CNNGo requires authentication through a cable provider. Live television and full shows require authentication, but clips can be watched without a cable subscription.

cnngo_apple_tv
Today's new CNNGo channel comes as Apple is preparing to reveal both a new set-top box and a new television service at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June. The rumored streaming television service will consist of approximately 25 channels for $30 to $40 per month, with Apple partnering with networks like ABC, CBS, Fox, Discovery, and more for content.

The next-generation Apple TV is said to have an A8 processor with a built-in App Store for downloading content and Siri support, plus more internal storage and a redesigned remote control.
Apple added three new TV channels to the Apple TV set-top box on Tuesday in the United States: TED, Tastemade and Young Hollywood. The three new channels bring non-profit TED Talks and a wide selection of premium food, travel and celebrity programming to the Apple TV and should be available beginning today. The new channels arrive just over three months after the additions of UFC, The Scene, Fusion and Daily Motion.

ted_tastemade_young_hollywood
TED Talks given by the non-profit organization are hosted by guest speakers that cover a wide range of influential topics, including science, religion, technology, education and more. Meanwhile, Tastemade provides hundreds of episodes of premium food and travel programming, and Young Hollywood delivers the latest celebrity-related programming including entertainment news and exclusive interviews.

Tastemade Apple TV
Tastemade channel on Apple TV features food and travel programming

Apple is expected to announce its next-generation Apple TV alongside a full-fledged streaming TV service at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June. The new A8-based set-top box will reportedly feature both an App Store and Siri, in addition to a redesigned remote control and significantly higher internal storage than the current 8GB model. Notably absent from today's update is upcoming on-demand service HBO Now, set to debut in April for $14.99 per month.

Young Hollywood
Young Hollywood channel on Apple TV features celebrity-related programming

Apple's much-rumored streaming TV service would consist of a lightweight package of about 25 channels for between $30 to $40 per month, anchored by networks such as ABC, CBS and Fox. The service will be available on several devices, including the iPhone, iPad and Apple TV, with other potential channels in the lineup including Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, TLC, MTV, Comedy Central, FX and Nickelodeon.

Apple TV has been discounted to $69 in the United States.
Apple plans to announce its next-generation Apple TV set-top box at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June, according to BuzzFeed News. The report, citing sources familiar with the plans, claims that the new Apple TV will be a "significant overhaul" of the streaming TV box, featuring both Siri and an App Store with an SDK available for developers to create apps.

apple tv
The new Apple TV will feature Apple's latest A8 system-on-a-chip and a "dramatic increase" in internal storage, well beyond the 8GB included in the current third-generation set-top box. The addition of Siri will enable Apple TV owners to control a wide selection of HomeKit-enabled home automation devices through the set-top box, according to the report.

The new Apple TV will be part of Apple's ambitious plans to improve the TV experience, an area that iTunes chief Eddy Cue thinks "sucks" currently and Apple chief executive Tim Cook referred to as "stuck back in the 70s" in an interview with Charlie Rose last year. The new device will be Apple's attempt at capturing the digital living room through TV, music, apps and home automation amid a sea of competitors including Amazon, Google and Roku.

A refreshed Apple TV would make sense given reports that Apple is also planning to announce its oft-rumored streaming TV service at WWDC, anchored by popular networks such as ABC, CBS, Fox, ESPN and FX. The web-based TV service for iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and other devices is expected to deliver a lightweight package of about 25 channels for between $30 to $40 per month. Apple TV is also long overdue for a hardware refresh, with the set-top box last updated in 2012.
Apple is having more luck getting content partners to participate in its upcoming streaming service by promising to share data with them, reports the New York Post. News of Apple's most recent streaming television plans surfaced yesterday, after The Wall Street Journal reported the company was in talks with programmers like CBS, Disney, and Fox for a service that may launch in June.

Apple has struggled to create a streaming service for several years, but has continually run into problems negotiating deals with cable companies and content providers who are reluctant to disrupt existing streams of revenue. According to the New York Post, Apple is planning to share details on who viewers are, what is watched, and when it is watched in order to tempt content providers to participate in the streaming service. Apple is also said to be allowing content providers to have a significant amount of control over the service, letting, for example, providers decide when to air ads.

appletv.png
By dangling the "data carrot," Apple is offering something that traditional cable companies, Amazon and Netflix have refused to hand over to programmers.

The tech giant is playing unusually nice in an attempt to catch up to rivals such as Sony and Dish's SlingTV, which are fast building similar slimmed-down channel packages without a cable TV subscription.
Apple once had very ambitious plans for a streaming television service, which it envisioned would offer channels a la carte, but ongoing problems reaching deals with providers have caused it to scale back on its ambitions. When establishing iTunes Radio, Apple made concessions on pricing in order to get deals signed, and it's likely the company is willing to make some sacrifices to get its television service off the ground.

Today's report should be read with caution, as handing over user data to third-party programmers is something of an unusual move for Apple. The company has gone to great lengths to assure customers that it collects limited data whenever possible. Tim Cook has, on multiple occasions, stated "You are not our product" when speaking on user privacy.
We believe customers have a right to privacy, and the vast majority of customers don't want people knowing everything about them. When you make a purchase, we make a little bit of money. It's very simple, very straightforward. You are not our product, that's our product.
Apple is said to be planning to unveil the streaming television service at WWDC, with a launch coming in the fall. Pricing has not yet been finalized, but the service, which will include approximately 25 channels, could cost between $30 and $40.

Deals are still in the works and have not been agreed upon, so launch timing of the service could shift in the future.
Apple CEO Tim Cook on Monday at the “Spring Forward” media event in San Francisco announced that Apple TV will now cost $69, discounted from its regular price of $99. The new price for the set-top box arrives on the heels of the announcement of HBO Now for Apple TV. The new price appears to apply to the third-generation Apple TV, as the company did not announce a new set-top box on stage at the Yerba Buena Center this afternoon.

Apple TV 69
A revamped Apple TV has been rumored to be in the works for quite some time, but the next-generation set-top box is not expected to be announced until later this year or beyond. The upcoming Apple TV is expected to have an improved, tactile remote control and a brand new operating system with a built-in App Store. New apps are also expected to have redesigned user interfaces.

Follow the rest of our March 2015 event coverage for the latest information.
With a few hours left to go before Apple's big "Spring Forward" media event, the company has once again unlocked the "Apple Events" channel on the Apple TV in preparation for the big event.

Largely expected to be the central focus later today is the Apple Watch, given the Daylight Saving Time reference in the title of the event and the small amount of pricing and launch-related information known about the device so close to its rumored release date of April.

Apple TV Live Event
Image via MacStories

Other outlying possibilities include small refreshes of the 11" and 13" MacBook Air and the 13" Retina MacBook Pro. Less likely to be seen are the long-rumored 12" Retina MacBook Air, and even the recently-rumored iPad mini 4.

Fans wanting to watch the event live can also use Apple's official website, the caveat as usual being users will need to be running Safari to stream the event. Apple points out that most any recent version of the software will run the stream, though those with older software may have trouble.
Live streaming video requires Safari 5.1.10 or later on OS X v10.6.8 or later; Safari on iOS 6.0 or later. Streaming via Apple TV requires second- or third-generation Apple TV with software 6.2 or later.
Apple's "Spring Forward" event begins at 10:00 AM Pacific Time. MacRumors will be covering all aspects of the event, including a live blog and live tweets which can be followed on the MacRumors Live Twitter page.
With just one day to go until Apple's "Spring Forward" media event in San Francisco, there are still plenty of unknowns about what the company will be showing off beyond a focus on the Apple Watch. As a result, we've put together this summary of what we expect to see, what we might see, and what we probably won't see at the event.

Apple Watch


Given the time-related tagline of "Spring Forward" and today's start of Daylight Saving Time in the United States, it's clear the Apple Watch is the focus of tomorrow's event. We got a first look at the device last September, but now with just a month to go until launch, it's time for Apple to provide final details and shape the marketing message. Expect more details on launch dates and pricing of course, as well as some updates on performance aspects such as battery life.

Also expect apps to play a significant role in the event, with Apple allowing a few developers to show off what they've been able to accomplish over the past few months since guidelines and developers tools for the device were made available.


Pricing will undoubtedly be one of the most interesting topics to be covered, with the company so far refusing to disclose any information beyond a $349 starting price. Daring Fireball's John Gruber has made his final predictions, arguing the stainless steel Apple Watch collection will be more expensive than people think.
[T]he steel Apple Watch, that’s something that most people still look at as for them. And so they expect the starting price to be around $500, and the various leather and metal band options to cost $100-300 more.

But if the starting price for the steel Apple Watch is $500, I don’t see why Apple Watch Sport exists at $350. $150 difference does not justify the difference. If they were that close in price, there’d only be one of them. [...] With Sport and steel Apple Watches, everything you can see or touch is different. Different metal (aluminum vs. steel), different finishes (matte vs. highly-polished), different displays (glass vs. sapphire), different case backs (plastic vs. ceramic and sapphire).
With that in mind, Gruber predicts the steel Apple Watch collection will start at $749 while the gold Apple Watch Edition collection starts at $7500. He expects Apple will charge a small premium for the 42mm size compared to the 38mm casing, and various band options will quickly drive up the cost of the steel and gold models.

Gruber is of course only one voice among many who are speculating about pricing, but he offers a clear and thorough argument for his pricing predictions, serving as a solid basis for debate and discussion.

Click here to read rest of article...
beatsmusicApple will launch a revamped streaming music service in June at the company's annual Worldwide Developers Conference, according to 9to5Mac and TechCrunch. The report claims the new Beats-based service will debut at Apple's WWDC keynote, likely during the week of June 8, as opposed to an announcement taking place at the upcoming "Spring Forward" media event on March 9.
"Apple currently plans to launch the new music service as part of an iOS 8.4 upgrade for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch following WWDC, but a final decision has not yet been made. It’s possible that the service will be bundled into iOS 9 this fall, which is expected to have a significant focus on bug fixes and stability improvements."
As detailed last month, the purported streaming music service is expected to cost up to $7.99 per month, a few dollars cheaper than Apple-owned Beats Music and competitors such as Spotify, Rdio and Google Play Music. The service will be deeply integrated into iTunes on Mac and the stock Music app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and apps will also be available for Apple TV and Android.

Apple is developing its first in-house Android application for the upcoming streaming music service, one of the rarer times that the iPhone maker offers cross-platform support for its products and services. Nevertheless, as the release of iTunes for Windows in the early 2000s helped drive sales of the iPod, expanding beyond the iPhone, iPad and Mac will provide Apple with a much larger pool of potential subscribers in the competitive streaming music market.

Apple is also reportedly wrapping up development of its next-generation Apple TV set-top box that could ship with an improved, tactile remote control and all-new operating system bundled with an App Store. Apple allegedly planned to release a new Apple TV as soon as this month, but the release may be delayed until later this year or beyond until Apple reaches agreements with more content providers like HBO Now.
HBO is in talks with Apple over a partnership that would see its upcoming standalone web-only subscription television package available on the Apple TV, reports Michael Learmonth, writing for International Business Times. CNBC has also confirmed that Apple and HBO are in talks in the video tweet posted below.


Apple could potentially be one of HBO's launch partners for its web-only service, which may be called "HBO Now." News of HBO's web-based subscription service first surfaced in October of 2014, after HBO CEO Richard Plepler shared the company's plans at an investor presentation.

The service, aimed at cable cutters, will allow users to access HBO content without a cable subscription for a set monthly fee. With the launch of a cable-free subscription service, HBO will become the first major premium content provider to cease limiting its television and movie offerings to cable subscribers.

According to Learmonth, HBO's web-only subscription will launch in April alongside the premiere of the fifth season of Game of Thrones, which takes place on April 12. The service is said to cost $15 per month, which is roughly how much it costs to subscribe to HBO through a cable company. A partnership with Apple would allow the service to be watched on the Apple TV, much like the existing version of HBO's service, HBO Go. HBO Go is available to all existing HBO subscribers on a variety of devices like the iPad and Apple TV, but it requires an HBO subscription through a cable or satellite provider.

apple_tv_splash_2014
Cable companies like Time Warner and Comcast have long been reluctant to offer piecemeal pricing and companies like HBO have previously avoided moving away from traditional cable models in order to preserve the status quo and avoid upsetting existing revenue streams.

The introduction of HBO's service will be a major victory for cord cutters, and it could encourage other content providers to introduce similar offerings. Content providers' reluctance to shift away from traditional cable pricing models has been one of the major factors that's prevented Apple from establishing deals for its own service in the past.
Rumors about Apple's television plans have died down in recent months as no new product has appeared, but the company hasn't given up on TV. According to industry executives that spoke to Re/code, Apple is in talks with television programmers over deals that would see the company offering a web-based TV service.

Such a service would potentially allow Apple to deliver customized television packages that would be streamed over the Internet, providing access to a bundle of channels from participating content providers. The service would not include a full lineup of channels like traditional cable, but it would offer a range of content delivered by Apple with its own interface on devices like the Apple TV.

apple_tv_splash_2014
The theory is that Apple would put together bundles of programming -- but not the entire TV lineup that pay TV providers generally offer -- and sell it directly to consumers, over the Web. That means Apple wouldn't be reinventing the way TV works today, but offering its own version of it, with its own interface and user experience.
Apple is reportedly far enough along in the development of such a service that it has been showing potential programming partners demos, but talks remain in the early stages -- pricing and a potential release timeline are unknown.

Apple originally had very ambitious plans for revamping television, which included a desire to create a subscription television service that would replace existing cable subscription packages, but was unable to move forward with that idea due to pushback from content providers.

After a string of failed negotiations, Apple scaled back on its television plans, aiming to wedge itself between cable companies and consumers by designing a set-top box that would play live television in lieu of a traditional cable box. Rumors suggested Apple was in talks with Comcast and Time Warner over such a service, which would also include cloud-based DVR functionality, but that has yet to materialize and may have shifted into its newest web-based television plans.

Apple has repeatedly failed to reach deals with content providers due to their reluctance to change the status quo, but as Re/code points out, the television industry has been shifting towards web-based models in recent months, and both Sony and Dish have managed to establish deals with programmers to provide live TV and video-on-demand over the web.

During the company's most recent earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook once again reiterated that television is something that Apple "continues to look at." Apple is working towards finding a way to make a "greater contribution," than what it currently offers, he said.
Apple has updated the Apple TV today with a new channel for Sports Illustrated's 120 SPORTS network. 120 SPORTS was launched last year on iPhone, iPad and other platforms as a streaming platform for major sports leagues, including the MLB, NHL, NBA, PGA TOUR, Nascar and leading college divisions. The digital-only network offers 76 hours of live content and more than 1,200 on-demand video clips each week.

120 Sports Apple TV
The 120 SPORTS channel provides sports fans with a collection of recent in-game highlights and other video content through the built-in Catch-Up and Timeline modes. Catch-Up provides a curated stream of the latest videos pertaining to trending sports topics, while Timeline allows users to watch the live 120 SPORTS stream and videos in reverse chronological order.
“With this latest launch, we are happy to provide our fans with a new platform to experience 120 Sports,” said 120 Sports president Jason Coyle. “We will continue to explore even more ways to deliver up-to-the-minute sports news to our current fans and new audiences, when and where they want it.”
MacRumors can confirm that 120 SPORTS was added to the third-generation Apple TV, although the channel has yet to appear on the second-generation set-top box.

120_sports_apple_tv
The new channel arrives just a few weeks after the Apple TV was refreshed with Tennis Channel Everywhere, providing access to live court streaming and other on-demand coverage. Australian viewers were also treated to a new channel for Cricket.com.au earlier this month. Apple TV's existing sports channels include WatchESPN, MLB.TV Premium, NFL Now, NHL GameCenter, MLS Live, WWE Network, Red Bull TV, Willow and UFC.TV.