If Apple TV supported cable television, as well as iTunes, the move could generate $1 billion for the media box long considered a “hobby” by Cupertino, one analyst recently suggested.
Providing cable box support could also boost Apple TV ownership six times over, potentially creating 6.5 million sales of the media unit, according to Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi.
Sacconaghi suggested Apple TV could become an alternative to the cable DVR or TiVo with the help of additional software. Firms, such as Tru2Way allows cable customers to avoid renting a box in order to receive pay-per-view or other services.
BusinessWeek suggested Wednesday Apple could create a media box along the same lines as the iPhone, allowing third-party apps to be sold enabling consumers watch a wide variety of programming.
Since its 2007 introduction, Apple executives have alternately referred to the Apple TV box as a “hobby” and the “fourth leg” the Cupertino’s existing iPod, iPhone and Mac business. However, support for Apple TV has not been steady.