Time Warner Willing to Cede Control of User Interface in Potential Deals for Apple TV Products

twctvTwo weeks ago, Bloomberg reported on Apple's struggles to reach television content deals that would enable the company to broaden its living room reach by providing set-top boxes to blend live and recorded material. The report noted that cable companies have generally been reluctant to work with Apple as they seek to retain control over the software and other aspects of their businesses, with Time Warner Cable said to be the major cable company most receptive to Apple's proposals.

The Hollywood Reporter now notes (via TechCrunch) that Time Warner Cable Chief Operating Officer Rob Marcus acknowledged at an investor conference today that his company would be willing to cede control over the user interface in scenarios such as those being rumored for Apple's proposals, as long as it can retain the existing customer relationship. The comments by Marcus appear to specifically address integration of the cable company's guide information with Apple's mobile devices, but could obviously extend to other products such as set-top boxes.

Time Warner Cable is "hard at work at a cloud-based [TV] guide experience" and is open to giving up control of the user interface as it looks to make its service accessible via new devices, including Apple's iPhones and iPads, president and COO Rob Marcus told an investor conference in New York on Wednesday.

But he emphasized that this does not mean that the cable giant is willing "to give up the customer relationship" as the company is committed to ensuring that people know its TV services are provided by TW Cable and not any device maker or other third party.

Apple is rumored to have been working on a television product for quite some time as it continues to toy with the current Apple TV set-top box, which the company has repeatedly referred to as a "hobby" that it will continue to pursue as it assesses whether there is a larger opportunity in the market.

Rumors of an Apple television set have largely given way to talk of a new set-top box in recent months, a device that would bring Apple's hardware and software expertise to the consumer cable industry in an effort to meld live television with recorded and on-demand content while integrating into Apple's existing ecosystem. But with both cable companies and content providers being reluctant to strike deals with Apple, progress has been slower than many had hoped for.

Top Rated Comments

Feed Me Avatar
128 months ago
Having a problem with Apple building your UI is like having a problem with Rolls Royce building you a car.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
FNi Avatar
128 months ago
Anyone else feel this will play out similar to the iPhone? At first carriers were reluctant to give into Apple's terms, but as soon as one did (and they saw the success that came along with it) they all wanted in.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sbrhwkp3 Avatar
128 months ago
Smart move. Verizon wasn't willing to cede control of their cell phone UIs, and we all know how that story went. :apple:
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
vigilant Avatar
128 months ago
All TV providers are horrible. All of them.

I'd rather a TV provider like TWC agree to work with Apple, since they are all over the country then one of the smaller providers or providers who are locked into the phone line like AT&T or Verizon.

I would absolutely upgrade all of my TWC boxes for this.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
samcraig Avatar
128 months ago
As a TWC customer in NYC - I beg the question - other than taking my money. WHAT relationship. Their customer service is 99 percent of the time horrible without much regard for maintaining any "relationship" :rolleyes:
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ipedro Avatar
128 months ago
The way Apple will crack the TV problem is by selling AppleTV boxes to cable companies who will distribute them for free to cable users.

This will put AppleTV boxes in hundreds of millions of homes. Cable companies can provide content such as "channels" in the form of apps and Apple can continue to sell individual TV shows and Movies via iTunes. Cable companies win regardless because they often provide the internet bandwidth necessary for downloading this content.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

airpods pro 2 1

AirPods Pro 2 No Longer Expected to Feature Built-In Heart Rate or Body Temperature Sensor

Sunday July 3, 2022 8:07 pm PDT by
While past rumors have indicated the upcoming second-generation AirPods Pro will feature a built-in heart rate and body temperature sensor, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has cast doubt on those rumors turning out to be true, saying instead such a feature is unlikely to come anytime soon. "Over the past few months, there have been rumors about this year's model gaining the ability to determine a...
top stories 2jul2022

Top Stories: M2 MacBook Air Release Date, New HomePod Rumor, and More

Saturday July 2, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
The M2 MacBook Pro has started making its way into customers' hands and we're learning more about how it performs in a variety of situations, but all eyes are really on the upcoming M2 MacBook Air which has seen a complete redesign and should be arriving in a couple of weeks. Other top stories this week included a host of product rumors including additional M2 and even M3 Macs, an updated...
Apple Watch 8 Unreleased Feature Thumb

Apple Watch Series 8 Model Rumored to Feature 5% Larger Display

Monday July 4, 2022 5:50 am PDT by
Apple is working on an Apple Watch Series 8 model with a larger display, according to DSCC's Ross Young and Haitong International Securities's Jeff Pu. In October last year, Young suggested that the Apple Watch Series 8 could come in three display sizes. Now, responding to a query about the rumor on Twitter, Young claims that the additional display size joining the Apple Watch lineup will be ...
intel go pc justin long

Windows Laptop Makers 'Worried' About New MacBook Air Impacting Sales

Tuesday July 5, 2022 6:57 am PDT by
The upcoming launch of Apple's redesigned MacBook Air with the M2 chip has some Windows laptop manufacturers "worried" that sales of Intel-based laptops will be negatively affected, according to industry sources cited by DigiTimes. "A Wintel brand vendor pointed out that at a price point of US$1,000-$1,500, the MacBook Air will crowd out other high-end notebooks," the report claims, with...
Apple Watch Series 8 What We Know Feature

Apple Watch Series 8 Might Be Able to Tell If You Have a Fever

Sunday July 3, 2022 6:36 am PDT by
The upcoming Apple Watch Series 8 will be able to tell a wearer if it believes they have a fever due to a higher than normal body temperature thanks to a new built-in sensor, according to Bloomberg's reliable Mark Gurman. Writing in the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman says that the Apple Watch Series 8 will feature a new body temperature sensor, given that the sensor passes ...
macbook air m2

Exclusive: Apple Plans to Launch MacBook Air With M2 Chip on July 15

Wednesday June 29, 2022 5:23 pm PDT by
The redesigned MacBook Air with the all-new M2 Apple silicon chip will be available for customers starting Friday, July 15, MacRumors has learned from a retail source. The new MacBook Air was announced and previewed during WWDC earlier this month, with Apple stating availability will begin in July. The MacBook Air features a redesigned body that is thinner and lighter than the previous...
European Commisssion

EU Approves Landmark Legislation to Regulate Apple and Other Big Tech Firms

Tuesday July 5, 2022 5:53 am PDT by
European Union lawmakers have approved landmark legislation to heavily regulate Apple, Google, Meta, and other big tech firms. The Digital Markets Act (DMA) and Digital Services Act (DSA) were proposed by the European Commission in December 2020. Now, collected in a "Digital Services Package," the legislation has been formally adopted by the European Parliament and seeks to address...