Apple May Strike Pay-TV Partnership With UK's British Telecom, Pre-Loading Apple TVs With BT Apps

Apple is reportedly holding discussions with United Kingdom-based British Telecom (BT) over a partnership that would make BT's mobile brand EE a "major distributor" of Apple TV devices. Specifically, the telecommunications brand would offer Apple TVs to EE customers, coming pre-loaded with apps that deliver pay-TV content like BT Sport and channels from other broadcasters (via The Telegraph).


For Apple, the deal would get Apple TVs into the hands of more customers and increase the potential viewership for its upcoming slate of original TV programming, expected in 2019. While BT has invested in building its own set-top boxes to compete with Apple, Amazon, and Sky, BT consumer chief Marc Allera kicked off a new strategy earlier in May to begin "forging deeper partnerships with technology giants."

Apple's partnership with BT is said to be similar to the company's existing deal in Switzerland with telecoms operator and pay-TV provider Salt. Apple has also partnered with Verizon, which will offer customers an Apple TV 4K as part of its residential broadband package coming to four cities this year.

In regards to Apple's original programming, the first of Apple's television shows could debut as soon as March of 2019, potentially through a new video streaming service subscription. The company is also reportedly considering a single subscription bundle offering customers access to TV, Apple Music, and digital magazines (through its Texture acquisition).

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1 week ago
Let's please not start pre-loading 3rd party apps onto iOS devices.
Rating: 13 Votes
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1 week ago

How about a nice metallic sticker on the top of the unit, too? "BT Inside".

Why stop with just the main unit?



Rating: 9 Votes
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1 week ago

Let's please not start pre-loading 3rd party apps onto iOS devices.

How about a nice metallic sticker on the top of the unit, too? "BT Inside".
Rating: 5 Votes
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1 week ago

EE is not a brand of BT!


It is, I'm afraid.

BT bought EE in January 2016.

They kept the 'EE' name and branding for the cellular service, but integrated the core business operations into BT.
Rating: 5 Votes
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1 week ago

EE is not a brand of BT!


It is.
Rating: 3 Votes
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1 week ago
This is how AppleTV grows out of its niche market. Steve Jobs once said that it’s impossible to compete directly with cable providers because when you sign up for cable, they give you a free box so most people aren’t going to go out and buy another box.

The solution there is to make AppleTV the box cable companies give you. Apple should be partnering with more cable companies.
Rating: 3 Votes
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1 week ago
Great. Wish US pay TV providers would do this. But they make too much money on their power sucking set top boxes.
Rating: 3 Votes
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1 week ago
I’m with BT for mobiles and internet so if I can get a free AppleTV 4K as part of my package then all the better! :-)
Rating: 2 Votes
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1 week ago
People are getting all worked up over Apple pre-loading apps, in the manner that, say, companies selling PCs preload the apps of "partner's" (read, "companies giving them piles of cash") into the Windows image on the PC. But I don't think that's what is being presented here. This doesn't sound like Apple stuffing EE's apps onto the Apple TV you or I might buy in the Apple store, it sounds like Apple providing EE/BT with special Apple TVs (that EE/BT will then provide to their customers) that have these apps preloaded:

Specifically, the telecommunications brand would offer Apple TVs to EE customers, coming pre-loaded with apps that deliver pay-TV content like BT Sport and channels from other broadcasters....


I don't see any problem with this - you buy an Apple TV in an Apple store (or some other normal consumer-facing store), and you get... an Apple TV. With no "third party bundled junk" cluttering it up.

But, if you contract to get TV service from some cable TV company, who "gives" you an Apple TV as part of the deal, it not only makes sense that it would come with an app from said cable TV company pre-loaded (not replacing any of the default apps, just there on the home screen), it might help a lot of less tech-savvy customers use the Apple TV in lieu of a cable box (remember, most of their customers are not readers of Apple tech news websites). Think of it this way: for the last however many decades, if you order cable TV service, the cable company hands you a box which has software on it to let you watch their TV service - only, it used to be a proprietary "cable box", now it's an Apple TV. Which can do all the other Apple TV things, as well as watching said cable company's programming.

Now, if Apple said, "some cable company is giving us money, so we're going to put their cable TV app on every Apple TV we sell", then, yes, I'd find that annoying - with that rising to infuriating if the app couldn't be removed (and well beyond infuriating if the app couldn't be hidden, or if it got in the way of using the Apple TV for other purposes). But I don't think that's what we're seeing here.
Rating: 2 Votes
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1 week ago
Coincidentally...BT are discounting the 64gb 4k Apple TV to £179 today...

https://www.shop.bt.com/products/apple-tv-4k-64gb-mp7p2b-a-D3XW.html?utm_content=RR00&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIgZ_0-JT33QIVGYjVCh3ZngFEEAkYAiABEgIhVPD_BwE
Rating: 2 Votes
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