updated 01:30 pm EDT, Wed August 25, 2010
Mobile TV should be real emphasis, says source
Contrary to some expectations, the iTV set-top will only play a small part at an Apple press event in September, a source for BusinessWeek claims. The company is instead expected to place the emphasis on 99-cent TV show rentals, with the idea that people can watch them on iPads, iPhones and iPods. An essential component may be the introduction of an iPod touch with a Retina Display, allowing Apple to say it has HD (or near HD) resolution on every device.
At the same time Apple is expected to avoid overhyping TV rentals, particularly as studios have limited how far the company can take mobile TV by resisting show subscriptions. Rentals will allegedly be marketed under the aegis of "catch-up viewing," as a way of seeing missed episodes, or shows recommended by friends. Studios and networks are being pitched with the idea that rentals could bring billions in incremental revenue without threatening contracts with cable companies.
Video has been a week pillar of the iTunes Store. As a whole, movies and TV shows have generated far less money for Apple than music and apps. Some obstacles to expansion have included DRM restrictions, negotiating international rights, and the fact that Apple videos are limited to 720p.