Apple has been in talks with three Hollywood studios to bring television content to its compatible streaming devices, reports Reuters.
The report, which cites two sources with knowledge of the talks, could be the strongest signal yet the technology giant is preparing an upcoming release of a fully-fledged television set.
Apple is believed to be negotiating with EPIX, a television channel owned by Lions Gate Entertainment, MGM and Paramount Pictures to bring a broader range of television and film content to its Apple TV set-top box users.
But rumours have circulated for months that Apple will at some point in the future announce a dedicated television with its iTunes and Apple TV pre-installed.
Using the company's experience with hardware building and meticulous design, the device remains one of the most anticipated Apple products for the foreseeable future.
The report notes the talks could be "complicated" by the existing $200 million a year agreement between Netflix and EPIX, where exclusive content is channeled to Netflix's 23 million U.S. subscribers. The deal is set to expire in September, with a chance that Apple might jump in to fill the space.
But the source warns that the talks remain in preliminary stages and no deal is expected any time soon.
Apple was unsuccessful in previous attempts to secure contracts with television and film studios with the hopes of launching its own TV service, the report adds.
Shortly before his death, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs approached CBS chief executive Les Moonves with a plan to launch a subscription video service, reports sister site CNET. (Both ZDNet and CNET are owned by CBS.) Moonves was reluctant, citing disruption to revenue streams, and the plan failed.
Earlier this year, the Cupertino-based giant released its next-generation Apple TV, which streams Netflix content, Major League Baseball, YouTube videos, and media from users' iTunes accounts. Apple TV costs $99, and adds support for 1080p content.
Image credit: CNET. Article source: Reuters.