“In late 2006, the crescendo of rumors about Apple building a smartphone became deafening–and sure enough, in January 2007, the company announced the iPhone. Three years later, the blogosphere was afire with scuttlebutt about an Apple tablet–right before Apple unveiled the iPad,” Harry McCracken reports for TIME Magazine. “Then there are the rumors about Apple making an HDTV. One with streaming video from the iTunes store, a predictably polished interface and industrial design, and–as long as we’re rumormongering–maybe a breakthrough or two that will change TV forever.”

“Analysts, pundits and other assorted Apple watchers have been talking about such a TV for years. Sometimes, they’ve even said that factories were in the process of cranking up production so that TVs could reach Apple Stores in the immediate future, or issued forecasts of how many units the company would sell,” McCracken reports. “And yet, the Apple HDTV not only isn’t here yet, but feels like it’s slipping away. When people bring it up now, they assume it will debut in 2015, if they specify a date at all.”

McCracken reports, “To understand what happened, it’s worth recapping how we got here.”

Much Munster in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: What happened is that the contracts for content lack ink. Regardless of whether the final form is an HDTV or a set-top box, a little birdy tells us that everything else – the important part, the software – is pretty much done, but without content, it’s a nonstarter.

As we just wrote on Tuesday:

If only Apple had someone like Steve Jobs who could get the ink on the contracts. Force of will. Charisma. An unmatched track record. You know, the good stuff!

Unfortunately, we’re just not seeing much out of Eddy Cue beyond a mediocre iTunes Radio, some nascent CarPlay rumblings, slowly improving Maps and Siri, and some time spent at Ferrari board meetings. We really can’t blame Eddy; without a giant like Steve Jobs by your side it must be tough to get the ink. Ah, the post-Steve Apple.

Perhaps Cook should consider bidding for and winning NFL Sunday Ticket away from Direct TV, buying rights to Premiere League and La Liga games, etc. and making them Apple TV exclusives. Go directly to the sports leagues with boatlods of cash. Maybe that’ll grease the wheels. It’ll certainly move a bunch of Apple TV boxes around the world in short order.

Of course, if pure à la carte existed, we’d end up with 17 channels, which is a whopping five (5) channels more than we had before cable television (2-13), so some sort of bundling probably has to exist for the foreseeable future regardless of what Apple manages to do.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

Related article:
Americans only watch 17 of the hundreds of channels available on cable – May 6, 2014