To bring us that next-level television, hopefully cord-cutting gadget we all want, Apple needs to woo the cable companies to make some deals, which it is apparently having trouble doing, sources "familiar with the company's plans" tell Bloomberg's Adam Satariano and Alex Sherman. Thus we won't see any living room related gadgets at next week's event, or by the year's end for that matter. This has we the people who want an alternative to cable disappointed, but not shocked. Because of its success with the music industry via iTunes and the iPod and all, Apple is a favorite in the revolutionizing TV department. But, as Apple is now figuring out, Hollywood is different. The TV makers have been notoriously averse to changing their current, lucrative model. So it makes sense that they aren't bending to the future as easily as the music biz, as these sources propose.
Some might blame CEO Tim Cook for this fallout, since Steve Jobs' persona got a lot of the credit for the iPod music deals. As a traditional CEO, Cook has done Apple well, leading the company to record sales and its most valuable company ever status. But, as we surmised way back when he took the helm, TV could be the one thing Cook can't do, that Jobs could have accomplished. Of course, Jobs isn't here today, so we don't know how things would have turned out with him running the show. But, if Cook fails to put out a beloved TV product before the competition, Apple will look like its falling behind or dare we say: losing its touch.
But that assessment is a little unfair to Cook. The cable companies are a stubborn bunch that might not have bent to Jobs either. And would Jobs have even wanted a cord-cutting device? The current Apple TV vision, without the content deals, actually matches Jobs' famous TV dream. It just doesn't match our TV dreams. So, for Cook's and our sakes, we hope Apple can pull through with some content deals in the end.