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Apple TV as cable box concept 'killed,' exec says

Ignore the rumors: Apple TV will not have cable box-like functionality, a company executive said.Analysts from Caris & Company recently met with Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer, and said in a note to investors on Tuesday that the Apple TV will not have long-rumored cable box-like functionality, including live recording and integration with cable providers.
Written by Andrew Nusca, Contributor

Ignore the rumors: Apple TV will not have cable box-like functionality, a company executive said.

Analysts from Caris & Company recently met with Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer, and said in a note to investors on Tuesday that the Apple TV will not have long-rumored cable box-like functionality, including live recording and integration with cable providers.

Analyst Robert Cihra writes:

"While some have wondered whether Apple might ultimately try to integrate traditional cable set-top box (decoding) functionality into its Apple TV product, Mr. Oppenheimer pretty much killed that concept and said that it just doesn't fit Apple's business."

The product was rumored to appear at Apple's "rock n' roll" music event tomorrow, but the event is likely to focus solely on Apple's new iPod lineup and iTunes partnerships.

Other takeaways from the Oppenheimer conversation:

  • Apple may continue to lower prices on its Mac lineup or offer new products at lower price points. That doesn't mean Apple's joining the low end of the market; rather, it's clear that the company will try to be competitive on price without making it paramount.
  • The popularity of the iPhone has made it difficult for Apple to keep up with demand.
  • Apple's entry into China with the iPhone is a 'long-awaited milestone'
  • Component supplies are 'tight' and costs are rising; all companies in consumer tech are subject to ongoing component supply issues.

My take: The cable box is dead. Look for Apple to leverage iTunes in the TV space -- perhaps as a subscription model.

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