Apple TV service plans to be pushed back to 2016

Company live TV and Netflix-competitor have been delayed by ongoing discussions with networks, according to reports

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The Independent Tech

Apple is having to push back its plans to launch an internet TV service that would take on Netflix as well as live broadcasts, according to reports.

The company has long been rumoured to be planning such a service, which would revolve around its Apple TV set-top box and offer streaming films and shows as well as live TV sent down the internet. But it has pushed back those plans to 2016, after difficult negotiations with the existing television networks.

The company had been rumoured to be planning to launch the network at the September event when it will launch the next iPhone. It is also set to release an updated version of its Apple TV hardware at that event — that will still happen despite the problems with the TV service, according to Bloomberg.

The new set-top box will feature a redesign remote, Siri voice control, extra storage and a new devoted App Store, according to previous reports. It has also been suggested that the box will be the centre of Apple’s plans for the connected home.

The company had previously been expected to release its new Apple TV and streaming service at its Worldwide Developer’s Conference in July. But both new releases were pushed back then, with sources explaining to the New York Times that it “wasn’t ready for primetime”.

Apple hopes that it can do what it did for music for TV and films, according to reports. Just as it convinced record labels to sell individual tracks cheaply on the iTunes Store, and then launched Apple Music to stream as much as users liked, the company hopes that it can put its devices in the centre of people’s living rooms by offering a cheap package of subscriptions to popular TV channels.

But despite those TV networks being enthusiastic about new ways of making money from their TV shows, and the suggestion that a deal with Apple will probably make them more money than traditional delivery services, talks are stalling, according to Bloomberg. Apple is struggling to find the right combination of content for its subscription — which will cost about $40 a month — and talks with the big television networks have “been mired for the past several months”, according to Bloomberg.

 

Apple is also having trouble being sure that internet networks will be able to send the videos quickly enough to its subscribers, according to the site. It is trying to build a system for keeping shows physically close to viewers, reports say, so that videos don’t have to be sent all of the way from Apple’s data centres.

Launching the video network at the September event would have helped it coincide with the beginning of the new network TV season in the US.

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