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Comcast to purchase Time Warner Cable, future Apple TV partnership uncertain - Page 2

post #41 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoolook View Post

Apple should bid for TWC.

They still would only be allowed to deliver content to customers within TWC's footprint. DirecTV or Dish Network would be a smarter purchase.
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post #42 of 91

Simple - TWC owns a bunch of content providers including HBO.

post #43 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulSorensen View Post

Simple - TWC owns a bunch of content providers including HBO.

Time Warner Cable most assuredly does not own HBO.

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post #44 of 91
Perhaps in order to get this through the DoJ, Comcast has to agree to some form of a la carte pricing. DoJ makes companies that want to make a massive consolidation divest parts of their business all the time. This would create a massive decline in competition, so let's just hope we end up getting some sort of new choice out of this bid. After all, it is just a bid and not a shoe-in that the DoJ will approve it.
post #45 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Time Warner Cable most assuredly does not own HBO.

Yes, not since 2009. TWC is now a discrete entity from Time Warner Inc.
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post #46 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


I hate to tell you, but it is by the hand of government (and ours is a corporatist government) that monopolies are created, not by competition. Frankly, AT&T should've gobbled up T-mobile, because they will not survive much longer unless they merge with another company. They are giving up great deals for consumers right now to inflate their growth numbers to make them a more attractive buyout, not because they are already doing well. Government should stand down and get out of the protectionism racket and let real competition winnow out the weak companies and allow market forces to play out. When companies become too big and unresponsive, people act by seeking alternatives and pouring their money into smaller, more responsive start ups. It's the story of IBM and Apple all over. Let people vote with their wallets.

 

I don't disagree with anything that you have said.

 

However, there is one HUGE thing that you are overlooking in both of these instances. Both in the AT&T and T-Mobile instance and in this instance the government is already involved. In the cell industry it is the government that parcels out the wireless frequency.

 

In this instance the government(s) basically create monopolies by limiting cable operators and phone operators in each market. This thus limits the competition for internet providers. In other words, again, you or I could not just decide to start up a cable company.

 

Because of this, these industries are already tied to the government and essentially removed or sheltered from truly free market forces. Thus, in these instances it is paramount that the government act to regulate them.

post #47 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post
 

Give me a break. I have no problem with a modest amount of consolidation, but I want access to competing tech equally. I can't get Verizon FIOS because of monopoly contracts by Comcast in Eastern WA, but they can continue to eat up their competition? Eff them.

 

So glad at least I have DISH or DirecTV and CenturyLink [who needs to make a FIOS option equivalent sooner rather than later].

you can not get FIOS because VZ does not feel your area has enough disposable income. VZ is only targeting markets which the high concentration of high income earners. I live in the North Easy the home territory of VZ and they pass up neighborhood on one side of the road to install on the over side of the road which people who make more money. They are not interesting in the people who want basic services.

post #48 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by AjbDtc826 View Post

Why on Earth would Apple even partner up with a cable co? Hulu I could see but hard line? Nah, everything will be cellular soon enough- cable companies will die out in a decade (including remote cities once LTEA goes live).

Simple, TW already has agreement in place with all the content owners, so apple does not have to do a separate deal, and get content after the fact like Netflix and Hulu do. All Apple is doing is providing the user experience and TW will provide access to all the real time content.

post #49 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

A corporation cares about profitability. A well-run corporation listens to their customers because happy customers make for greater long-term profitability. A monopoly cannot exist in a vacuum. It requires the protection of law to suppress competition. Without external forces preventing competition, monopoly positions simply cannot last.

I have read this several times and I must be missing something. Isn't the definition of a monopoly where said entity the only supplier of a particular commodity. If so I don't follow your statement: "A monopoly cannot exist in a vacuum. It requires the protection of law to suppress competition. Without external forces preventing competition, monopoly positions simply cannot last." I am not disagreeing, I simply don't understand, can you explain this?
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post #50 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

you can not get FIOS because VZ does not feel your area has enough disposable income. VZ is only targeting markets which the high concentration of high income earners. I live in the North Easy the home territory of VZ and they pass up neighborhood on one side of the road to install on the over side of the road which people who make more money. They are not interesting in the people who want basic services.

I say this all sort of with mixed feelings being an entrepreneur ... 1hmm.gif

Obviously we humans should only live in centralized cities so businesses can sell to us more profitably. Just wait till FedEx, UPS do the same, perhaps electricity and emergency services next?

This reminds me, as a student in England, one of my many summer vacation jobs was working for a statistics company. We had to ride trains all over rural northern England (great job eh?) and count passengers getting on and off the train in all these small and most times beautiful little rural stations. I has assumed this was for the tourism board or something like that. I later learned the data was used by the powers that be so they could close all the lines that were not profitable. Sadly many of the lines closed were some of the most picturesque runs in Britain.
Edited by digitalclips - 2/13/14 at 8:22am
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post #51 of 91
This merger isn't gonna happen.
post #52 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulSorensen View Post

Simple - TWC owns a bunch of content providers including HBO.

Nope. TIme Warner Inc does. Not the same as Time Warner Cable
post #53 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


I hate to tell you, but it is by the hand of government (and ours is a corporatist government) that monopolies are created, not by competition. Frankly, AT&T should've gobbled up T-mobile, because they will not survive much longer unless they merge with another company. They are giving up great deals for consumers right now to inflate their growth numbers to make them a more attractive buyout, not because they are already doing well. Government should stand down and get out of the protectionism racket and let real competition winnow out the weak companies and allow market forces to play out. When companies become too big and unresponsive, people act by seeking alternatives and pouring their money into smaller, more responsive start ups. It's the story of IBM and Apple all over. Let people vote with their wallets.

Hate to tell you, but we still have the documented history of monopolies in the pre-Sherman Antitrust Act days. It's ludicrous to suggest that the "invisible hand" of consumer purchasing habits are sufficient by themselves to prevent monopolies from occurring in many industries.

 

Your use of T-Mobile is also not appropriate for your point, as there's no evidence whatsoever that they are struggling in the market. The reason they are attractive is because they remain small enough to be an affordable acquisition for other players, not because they have a fundamental business problem.

 

Thankfully, the days of blanket laissez faire economic policies are long dead and no longer palatable to all but the most extreme economic positions.

post #54 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I have read this several times and I must be missing something. Isn't the definition of a monopoly where said entity the only supplier of a particular commodity. If so I don't follow your statement: "A monopoly cannot exist in a vacuum. It requires the protection of law to suppress competition. Without external forces preventing competition, monopoly positions simply cannot last." I am not disagreeing, I simply don't understand, can you explain this?

The comments aren't opposed. Monopolies are when one is the only, or at least vastly dominant provider of something. And aren't evil in and of themselves. Apple had a monologue on tablets for a while, totally legally since the other players just hadn't released what they had announced.

But in this case, these monopolies are due in a great part to laws that say there isn't to be overlap in providers of services. Ie you can't have two cable companies operating in the same geographic area. Same with cable internet even. Even here in LA I can pick time warner or EarthLink powered by time warner. So not really a choice. It would be illegal for someone like Apple to come in and offer cable internet. They could do fiber, etc if someone isn't offering it but not cable
post #55 of 91
I must say I'm sick of hearing all these "if Steve was around he would've solved this comments". Sorry, television is a whole different animal than music. Also, when Steve told Walter Isaacson he "cracked it" we don't know what he meant (or if it wasn't just Steve's RDF). It could have meant just a better UI to more easily navigate across content providers. Anyway this idea that if Steve were still around Apple TV would have ala carte programming on it right now is fantasy land.
post #56 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

I hate to tell you, but it is by the hand of government (and ours is a corporatist government) that monopolies are created, not by competition. Frankly, AT&T should've gobbled up T-mobile, because they will not survive much longer unless they merge with another company. They are giving up great deals for consumers right now to inflate their growth numbers to make them a more attractive buyout, not because they are already doing well. Government should stand down and get out of the protectionism racket and let real competition winnow out the weak companies and allow market forces to play out. When companies become too big and unresponsive, people act by seeking alternatives and pouring their money into smaller, more responsive start ups. It's the story of IBM and Apple all over. Let people vote with their wallets.

It's not that easy. Sometimes granting a monopoly is vital in getting something built. Building out and maintaining a network is a huge expense that companies are reluctant to take on without a guarantee that they'll recover that cost. You wouldn't build a apartment complex and then allow someone else to rent out the apartments and collect the rent. You built it knowing that 100% of the tenants will be paying you rent.
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post #57 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

The comments aren't opposed. Monopolies are when one is the only, or at least vastly dominant provider of something. And aren't evil in and of themselves. Apple had a monologue on tablets for a while, totally legally since the other players just hadn't released what they had announced.

But in this case, these monopolies are due in a great part to laws that say there isn't to be overlap in providers of services. Ie you can't have two cable companies operating in the same geographic area. Same with cable internet even. Even here in LA I can pick time warner or EarthLink powered by time warner. So not really a choice. It would be illegal for someone like Apple to come in and offer cable internet. They could do fiber, etc if someone isn't offering it but not cable

Thanks, I am not sure it helps understand why 'laws are required to protect monopolies' as suggested in the post I was confused by though. Also why he stated 'a monopoly is doomed to fail without such protection'.
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post #58 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I have read this several times and I must be missing something. Isn't the definition of a monopoly where said entity the only supplier of a particular commodity. If so I don't follow your statement: "A monopoly cannot exist in a vacuum. It requires the protection of law to suppress competition. Without external forces preventing competition, monopoly positions simply cannot last." I am not disagreeing, I simply don't understand, can you explain this?

External forces = Laws/regulations

If that does not answer your question, please be more specific with the question.

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post #59 of 91

Although the landscape appears bleak their are pockets of resistance like the municipal owned and run fiber optic network which delivers the fastest internet in the county in Chattanooga, TN. They used the power lines to deliver their fiber network. This will not be an option in many states due to contracts with power companies and other hurdles but fiber networks in conjunction with power companies might one day offer some competition to cable monopolies. 

 

http://chattanoogagig.com

 

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post #60 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

External forces = Laws/regulations

If that does not answer your question, please be more specific with the question.

In other words a true monopoly isn't gained/earned, it's granted.
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post #61 of 91
My condolences for Time-Warner customers. I hear they suck, but nobody could possibly generate as much suck as Comcast. They will nickel and dime you. They will lie about their prices. They will randomly increase your bill. And they will smile while they do it. One of my homes has FiOS service so I told Comcast to go screw themselves after they overcharged me by about $400 over a three month period and refused to go back and fix their mistake. Unfortunately, my other home has no alternatives so I am stuck with their overpriced, crappy service.
post #62 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

External forces = Laws/regulations

If that does not answer your question, please be more specific with the question.

In other words a true monopoly isn't gained/earned, it's granted.

You can have natural monopolies.

post #63 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

You can have natural monopolies.

True, but in most cases it's very hard to accomplish.
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post #64 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

True, but in most cases it's very hard to accomplish.

Not at all. Electrical distribution (and even cable companies) is a good example.

 

Essentially, these would be situations when a monopoly (or something close to it) is the most efficient organizational form. This is could happen in highly capital-intensive businesses, especially in smaller markets/geographies.

post #65 of 91
These cable pipes that come into our homes are owned by the people. Just like when AT&T was broken up, so should Comcast. These pipes should be open to all ISP competitors who wish to compete. This AppleTV app will mean nothing because you will have to subscribe to Comcast and also to their ISP to receive this content.
post #66 of 91

A quick Google search does show that TWC owns Home Box Office.

post #67 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Not at all. Electrical distribution (and even cable companies) is a good example.

Essentially, these would be situations when a monopoly (or something close to it) is the most efficient organizational form. This is could happen in highly capital-intensive businesses, especially in smaller markets/geographies.

I didn't know those were called natural monopolies. I learned something new, thanks.  
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post #68 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnthonyRyan1965 View Post

A quick Google search does show that TWC owns Home Box Office.

You're confusing Time Warner Cable with Time Warner Inc. TWC has been a separate company since 2009, it's TWI that owns HBO.
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post #69 of 91
Apple, meet content creators. Content creators, meet Apple. Why do we need anything else in between? Make a new sitcom, put the season up on iTunes to watch. No network. If it's well-reviewed/good show people will pay for the season.
How about a new, legitimate news channel? Subscription based on iTunes. There has to be demand for something other than the spin Fox/MSNBC spew out daily. 3rd party creates new news channel like CNN, not on a network, but exclusively on AAPL TV by subscription only.
Apple doesn't create or back any of this financially - much like App Store revenue comes in from subscribers and AAPL takes cut/% like App Store.
Why would AAPL think it needs cable companies like TWC. AAPL should provide a platform for original programming of all kinds to come directly to them. Long-term that would be disruptive.
post #70 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by djames4242 View Post

My condolences for Time-Warner customers. I hear they suck, but nobody could possibly generate as much suck as Comcast. They will nickel and dime you. They will lie about their prices. They will randomly increase your bill. And they will smile while they do it. One of my homes has FiOS service so I told Comcast to go screw themselves after they overcharged me by about $400 over a three month period and refused to go back and fix their mistake. Unfortunately, my other home has no alternatives so I am stuck with their overpriced, crappy service.

You should take them to small-claims court.

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post #71 of 91
Yay. Another anticompetitive corporate buyout. These are always beneficial to consumers and never at all harmful to them. /s
post #72 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by D-Mart View Post

Apple, meet content creators. Content creators, meet Apple. Why do we need anything else in between? Make a new sitcom, put the season up on iTunes to watch. No network. If it's well-reviewed/good show people will pay for the season.
How about a new, legitimate news channel? Subscription based on iTunes. There has to be demand for something other than the spin Fox/MSNBC spew out daily. 3rd party creates new news channel like CNN, not on a network, but exclusively on AAPL TV by subscription only.
Apple doesn't create or back any of this financially - much like App Store revenue comes in from subscribers and AAPL takes cut/% like App Store.
Why would AAPL think it needs cable companies like TWC. AAPL should provide a platform for original programming of all kinds to come directly to them. Long-term that would be disruptive.

Most content creators don't have enough money to produce an entire season of a show they're pushing, and the shows that do get created on a shoestring budget look like they were cheaply produced and are rarely successful. The few shows that do achieve success are bought out by a network. Just look at Strike Back and how the production value went up on the seasons produced by Cinemax.
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post #73 of 91
Because it's all about content and power over content, not the 'cable'

[quote name="AjbDtc826" url="/t/162030/comcast-to-purchase-time-
warner-cable-future-apple-tv-partnership-uncertain#post_2471434"]Why on Earth would Apple even partner up with a cable co? Hulu I could see but hard line? Nah, everything will be cellular soon enough- cable companies will die out in a decade (including remote cities once LTEA goes live).[/quote]
post #74 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by AjbDtc826 View Post

Why on Earth would Apple even partner up with a cable co? Hulu I could see but hard line? Nah, everything will be cellular soon enough- cable companies will die out in a decade (including remote cities once LTEA goes live).

why did apple partner with ATT?

Think about it.  Think hard.   What is an iPhone but a device that sells Data Plans? 

 

What is a cable box but a box that sells cable content.

 

Then think about the content that a cable co has  That's there value...  They've locked up delivery of content... often with exclusive rights to geopgraphies.   Apple couldn't get the content

 

now think about and how bad the cable box interface is.   Most of the interface is a bad remote.   How do you DVR?  How do you Video on Demand?  Hard.

 

replace that cable box with an AppleTV with a 75Ohm connector.  Add AppleID (or Passbook), and Apple's Remote. 

 

Think of the possibilities.   I mean _REALLY_ think about the possibilities.   

 

Apple doesn't want to compete with Cable Companies...  they want Cable companies to give them all their content and customers.  The end game world is that Apple evolves to 'frontend' all cable companies....   Sort of like the iPhone fronting ATT's wireless data pipe market, then verizons, then the world.  

 

Bottom line...  Apple is a about smart delivery of dumb content on amazing hardware.  They want big dumb pipes of content, developers who can write apps to tap that content where Apple doesn't see a global market, so that they can charge 3-30% for the content that comes down the pipe from the content licensees at the back end.

 

As for Hulu... think about how dumb that is.  Basically Hulu and iOS occupy the same customer base.

post #75 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tjduffy View Post

These cable pipes that come into our homes are owned by the people. Just like when AT&T was broken up, so should Comcast. These pipes should be open to all ISP competitors who wish to compete. This AppleTV app will mean nothing because you will have to subscribe to Comcast and also to their ISP to receive this content.

Change will come, but it will come slow.   Blame your municipalities [selling your right to choose content providers to the highest bidder], not the content creators or the cable companies, and the FCC.

post #76 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

All Cellular is hard-lined, in the end. The entire backhaul hard-line connects for redundancy and power.

Exactly, cellular is only wireless from the device to the cell site. It's so funny when people proclaim 'everything will be wireless soon', they have no concept of how much bandwidth that would take, the telecoms are struggling to keep up with demand now so what's going to change? For the foreseeable future there will always be a need for the hardline.
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post #77 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tjduffy View Post

These cable pipes that come into our homes are owned by the people. Just like when AT&T was broken up, so should Comcast. These pipes should be open to all ISP competitors who wish to compete. This AppleTV app will mean nothing because you will have to subscribe to Comcast and also to their ISP to receive this content.

AT&T was a monopoly, Comcast is not. Those pipes were not built with public money so they're not owned by the public. While opening up the network sounds like a good idea it's akin to your building a apartment complex and then having to allow someone else rent out the apartments and collect the rent. You wouldn't do that so why do you expect a cable company to allow what's essentially the same?
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post #78 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post

why did apple partner with ATT?
Think about it.  Think hard.   What is an iPhone but a device that sells Data Plans? 


What is a cable box but a box that sells cable content.


Then think about the content that a cable co has  That's there value...  They've locked up delivery of content... often with exclusive rights to geopgraphies.   Apple couldn't get the content

now think about and how bad the cable box interface is.   Most of the interface is a bad remote.   How do you DVR?  How do you Video on Demand?  Hard.

replace that cable box with an AppleTV with a 75Ohm connector.  Add AppleID (or Passbook), and Apple's Remote. 

Think of the possibilities.   I mean _REALLY_ think about the possibilities.   

Apple doesn't want to compete with Cable Companies...  they want Cable companies to give them all their content and customers.  The end game world is that Apple evolves to 'frontend' all cable companies....   Sort of like the iPhone fronting ATT's wireless data pipe market, then verizons, then the world.  

Bottom line...  Apple is a about smart delivery of dumb content on amazing hardware.  They want big dumb pipes of content, developers who can write apps to tap that content where Apple doesn't see a global market, so that they can charge 3-30% for the content that comes down the pipe from the content licensees at the back end.

As for Hulu... think about how dumb that is.  Basically Hulu and iOS occupy the same customer base.

Lol, that same thinking is why Apple's competition keeps chasing their own tails. The idea is look to the future, not rehash something already capable. Using your words, let's think _hard_ about a few steps further: set top box... Wires... Now, I'll stop right there because that's all one really needs to consider in this case. Apple doesn't want a set top box nor wires anymore. They're already obsessed with Bluetooth and soon conductive charging. The content deals that are struck with TW & Comcast are too fragile to bet on if you've been paying attention to the last few years. This only makes sense if you're an analyst trying to get a "makes sense" rumor started. But it doesn't truly coincide with Apple's philosophy IMO.
post #79 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post

OK. Comcast bought Time Warner for $45.2 Billion.
It would appear that Comcast will now have 2 sets of content contracts.
Apple may have made a deal for the TimeWarner contracts.

This may explain the delay in availability of the content to allow Comcast to close the deal and integrate TWC into its set of contracts.

If the contracts are not transferrable then they can not be transferred to Comcast which does not need them anyway. If the contracts are transferrable them perhaps Apple could buy them outright and be done.

Time will tell.

Actually, I doubt very much whether Apple had a deal with Time-Warner or any other MSO.    The reason why is that the cable networks grant very limited web rights to the MSOs and the rights they do grant have to be used directly by them, for instance by offering VOD.   They have almost no rights to grant access to another company who then resells the content again.   The only content that could have been part of a Time-Warner deal was Time-Warner content, like HBO shows and even that would have been iffy, since Time-Warner spun off Time-Warner Cable into a separate company.

 

I really don't think Apple has a choice.   They're going to have to deal with the cable networks directly or with the content owner (who in many cases is NOT the cable network).  In many cases, the cable networks have limited rights as well.   That's why every cable show isn't available VOD or on the web, or if it is, it's only available for short periods of time.

 

I have firsthand knowledge of this as I help develop rights management software that's used by almost all the major cable networks.   

 

While the cable networks are looking for any additional fees they can get and therefore would support a deal with Apple and/or other such device makers, most of their income today is delivered by the MSOs.  And while the MSOs haven't shown a lot of guts in negotiating with the cable and broadcast networks (and when they have, they've gotten screwed, like Time-Warner in the recent CBS negotiations), they can threaten to drop a cable network's offerings, especially if it's not "must have" channels.   Obviously, a combined Comcast-Time Warner, which would reach 30% of national cable subscribers after dropping the 3 million they claim they'll give up, would have a lot of negotiating power and would do everything they can to stop an Apple-type deal from happening.

 

Personally, if Comcast gets this almost-monopoly, I think they should have to give up NBC and the cable networks.   But I think they're going to get away with doing the deal by promising to drop the few million subscribers to keep them under the 30% hurdle.   

 

As others have posted, this is certainly going to raise consumer prices in many markets (not that cable bills aren't constantly going up anyway).   But the Government will permit this, but sue Apple over e-book pricing.    Absurd.   

post #80 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by AjbDtc826 View Post


Lol, that same thinking is why Apple's competition keeps chasing their own tails. The idea is look to the future, not rehash something already capable. Using your words, let's think _hard_ about a few steps further: set top box... Wires... Now, I'll stop right there because that's all one really needs to consider in this case. Apple doesn't want a set top box nor wires anymore. They're already obsessed with Bluetooth and soon conductive charging. The content deals that are struck with TW & Comcast are too fragile to bet on if you've been paying attention to the last few years. This only makes sense if you're an analyst trying to get a "makes sense" rumor started. But it doesn't truly coincide with Apple's philosophy IMO.

Opinions vary.   

 

you connect to wires when you don't move.   TVs don't move.   100Mbps is a minimum requirement for a good HD movie.  There will still be a hard line Internet into the house, and likely it will be coax.  or fiber.

 

The content deals may be fragile, and if you play devils advocate, Cable companies have to plan for the future without lock in... and the future will be becoming 100Mb pipes to homes.... and if they don't partner with Apple, then Google and Apple will just bypass them.  Even with non-exclusive rights, cable companies are still the future of most content for the next 7 to 10 years.

 

IANAA.    and I'm not a AAPL stockowner anymore (AAPL bought my house;-)  

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