Apple is reportedly in talks with U.K. telecommunications company BT, regarding a possible partnership in which Apple TV boxes are provided to subscribers.
As per the Daily Telegraph, both groups are, “in early discussions over a deal that would make BT’s mobile brand EE a major distributor of Apple TV set-top boxes.”
These Apple TV boxes would be provided to subscribers, and come pre-loaded with apps allowing them to receive channels like BT’s Sport offerings.
It is being reported that using Apple’s hardware is viewed as an alternative to creating its own set-top box, as other providers like the U.K.’s Virgin Media do.
Apple currently operates a similar deal in Switzerland with telecoms operator and pay-TV provider Salt. However, with a much larger population (65 million vs. 8 million in Switzerland), this would be a big deal for Apple TV if it can be negotiated.
Struggling to get into homes
At present, Apple TV still lags behind many of the other set-top boxes/sticks built by other tech companies.
A report published last year suggested that, in the U.S., Apple TV is still languishing in fourth place in this market. At least at the time those details were published, Roku was still number one, followed by Amazon’s Fire TV, Google’s Chromecast, and then — with 5 percent marketshare — Apple TV. This could be one way for Apple to help change that.
If Apple TV is one of the ways that the company plans to distribute its original TV shows — which it is spending upwards of $1 billion on — we’d expect to see more initiatives like this to try and grow the market for Apple’s set-top boxes.
Are you an Apple TV subscriber? What do you think of Apple’s set-top box? Let us know in the comments below.
Source: Daily Telegraph (paywall)