Remember all those rumors earlier this year about how Apple was about to begin producing a "smart" TV set based on a Eureka! moment that the late Steve Jobs experienced? It's not going to happen, at least not this year, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday. Apple, it suggested, was being stymied in its plans to introduce the set by powerful cable operators who see Apple's device as a threat to their own revenue stream. Sanford Bernstein analyst Craig Moffet told Bloomberg that the earlier rumors ignored "the business realities that make this such a complicated industry." Bloomberg suggested that Apple is confronting many of the same issues that TiVo has had to grapple with -- in particular, who is going to control the software that determines the screen interface. In Apple's case, it would like the unit to operate hand in glove with its other products, like the iPhone, the iPad, and the iPod Touch. Walter Price of RCM Capital Management, which owns $1.9 billion in Apple shares, told Bloomberg that he had discussed the Apple TV product with executives of the company. "It's a tough problem," he said, "because the cable companies and media companies are not very enthusiastic about the prospect of Apple creating a better user interface."

06/09/2012