Apple hires cable television industry veteran for ‘something big’

“Cable television industry veteran Jean-François Mulé will take an engineering position at Apple for an undisclosed project, rekindling speculation that the Cupertino company is further developing a set-top cable box,” AppleInsider reports.

“Mulé revealed his new position in a post to his LinkedIn page on Tuesday (via Multichannel), noting that he started working at Apple in September,” AppleInsider reports. “Under the Experience column, Mulé said he would be ‘Challenged, inspired and part of something big’ in his role as Engineering Director.”

AppleInsider reports, “Mulé has a pedigree in cable technology, and most recently worked for two years as CableLabs’ SVP of Technology Development.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Dominick P.” and “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

14 Comments

  1. Just look at what Mulé has done before. He has comprehensive experience of delivering voice and multimediacontent over WiFi and the internet, mobile devices and multi-screens –
    http://thetvoftomorrowshow.com/speakers/jean-francois-mule

    He is a perfect fit for any number of Apple’s projects, it doesn’t have to be ‘something big’, he could contribute enormously to many existing projects and further development of those projects. I would go so far as to suggest that anything that he works on may well end up pretty big, but my guess is that his efforts will be directed towards a number of products and services rather than just one.

    1. I’m a huge and long-time Apple fan. However, I also work in consumer electronics, specifically control and integration.

      Apple doesn’t do “integration”. They make great products with great experiences. They do amazing things like AirPlay, which integrates their own products. But, when it comes to the traditional meaning of integration, which is to say that different products interoperate, Apple doesn’t do. Simple stuff like IP control of Apple TV. It used to work in the original Apple TV, then Apple disabled it. So much for integration.

      It’s one area I wish Apple could do better. Stop locking everything down so tight and give us a little more control over our own stuff!

  2. I’ve been saying this for such a LONG time. Maybe it will actually happen… 🙂

    Instead of competing against the cable companies as a content consolidator and provider (for “TV”), it is eminently logical for Apple to work WITH the cable companies to provide the customer’s user interface for their existing cable content.

    When iPhone was initially released, Apple did not create its own wireless network and services to complete with the existing wireless carriers. Instead, Apple work WITH the carriers, usually one per market, to provide an unsurpassed user interface for their existing services. Apple tends to tweak and repeat successful strategies.

    And to mirror the iPhone strategy even further, the cable companies (one per market) can subsidize the cost of the Apple TV “set-top” box, so that it is free with contract. Furthermore, this makes the complete “iTV” viable. Cable companies can subsidize a portion of the cost for a complete TV from Apple, just as wireless carriers subsidize a portion of the cost for the latest iPhone. With the subsidy, Apple’s HDTV can be far superior to the competition at similar screen size, but match or even undercut the up-front cost to the customer.

    The cable companies can “discretely” collect the subsidy back from the customer (over time) by replacing the “rental” fee used for the current antiquated cable box. And the cable companies will have a valuable (initially exclusive) new weapon against alternate TV content providers, that deliver by telephone line (such as AT&T U-verse) and satellite dish (such as DIRECTV).

      1. I imagine Apple would need to first release in major U.S. markets. Then, in markets (U.S. and worldwide) that have similar systems for “cable” TV. Then, in markets with less similar systems, including ending “exclusivity” to cable-based systems and expanding compatibility to other connection methods, such as telephone line and satellite dish.

        Some markets may not get this product. But Apple can continue to offer the “a la carte” version of Apple TV (in all markets), and well as the complete unsubsidized “iTV” (if such a product is released).

  3. I don’t think it’s going to be a box or a tv … Instead it’s going to be an app..

    Each station has its own wrapper of supplemental content to support its own content .

    Look – cable companies only pay the distributors pennies and in some cases a buck or 2 per subscriber.. Ad revenue pays for the transmission and distribution costs..

    I pay what? $120 for direct tv of which I watch 15 channels – of which MOST I could probably watch on a combo of netflix, hulu , abc, nbc, cbs and tbs… Only thing being news and sports which I need live.

    The days of channels filled with shopping and infomercials is done!- almost

  4. I agree with the app strategy. Each network will provide their own app, which will stream live content. The ads will cater to the individual, and each app will have its own subscription fee, which can be paid for as an in-app purchase.

    This will officially become a Big Deal if and when Apple can get the HBOs of the world on board, eliminating the need for a terrestrial subscription.

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