“Apple Inc engineers have been working since 2005 to reinvent TV viewing. Designing the gadget may prove easy compared with convincing media and cable companies to loosen their grip on the television industry,” Adam Satariano and Alex Sherman report for Bloomberg. “This battle is nothing like Apple’s previous forays into the music and mobile phone spheres, when the maker of iPods and iPhones negotiated with weakened record labels and a fractured wireless industry. Now the stakes are even higher and the competition tougher.”

“Apple is vying with the likes of Google Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Amazon.com Inc. to make TVs the digital hub of people’s lives in an industry projected to reach $200 billion worldwide by 2017,” Satariano and Sherman report. “Whoever wins must first strike deals with media companies or cable providers who have little incentive to cede valuable revenue streams. The result: Apple won’t be releasing a new TV product this year, as analysts had predicted, said a person familiar with the company’s plans.”

Satariano and Sherman report, “In recent negotiations, the main stumbling blocks with cable companies have included a tussle for control over the software that determines the screen interface — the look and feel of the viewer’s experience, said people familiar with the discussions… Apple and cable providers have also diverged on whether a new Apple TV set-top box should be sold directly to customers or leased through cable providers, said people familiar with the talks.”

“Since the middle of the last decade, Apple’s engineers have been working on a more advanced product to allow viewers to quickly find shows and movies, blending both live and recorded material, the people said. It would recommend content based on interests and work seamlessly with Apple’s family of other devices. An iPhone or iPad would double as a remote control, the people said… Apple is furthest along negotiating with Time Warner Cable Inc., said the people familiar with the talks. Yet even if Time Warner Cable agrees to a deal with Apple, it wouldn’t represent a radical change for customers, who would still pay their monthly cable bill.”

Satariano and Sherman report, “Apple may be looking to Time Warner Cable to be its first partner in a similar way that AT&T Inc. helped bring the iPhone to market, one person said. This [regional rollout] would be a departure from Apple’s traditional strategy of releasing products nationally. Time Warner Cable, like all cable companies, only operates in certain regions. Los Angeles and New York City are its largest markets. Under this thinking, Apple would then expand the service if it proves successful, one person said.”

Tons more in the full article – recommended – here.