Apple TV might be the big takeaway of the Worldwide Developer Conference happening on 8 June till 12 June, according to several reports that claim the middle of the WWDC invite is an Apple TV with the words ‘the epicenter of change’ written in the middle.
The words might mean Apple is planning to make the set-top box the hub for smart devices to connect, or it might mean Apple is planning to build an entire television, film and media service inside the set-top box to bring over-the-top content to customers.
Exploring the former first, Apple TV is already a powerful device with quick connection to routers through WiFi ac. If it was to act as a hub, perhaps Apple will revamp the interface to feature information on smart home devices, like if the doors are locked and all the lights are off in the home before going to bed.
It would also give Apple a device that is not mobile to work as a hub. The iPhone is currently the only hub item, but a mobile is only good for so many tasks and the Apple TV may act as a way to use the full interface.
This does sort of end there however, since the Apple TV is just an alternative to the iPhone and nothing much more. The more interesting proposition is the Apple TV taking over all media consumption by creating universal search and an overlay system for cable, online and films all in one place.
That connected system would allow users to check live TV, catch up, on demand and store content on services like Netflix and Amazon Prime. Add into it films that can be streamed from a number of providers or bought on iTunes, and it is golden.
It is a big ask for Apple and will require some excellent partnerships. It is planning its own internet TV service to bring some of the cable channels, like ESPN and Disney Channel, into the fray for $25 (£16) to $40 (£26) per month.
Universal search is the key for the overlay service. If customers are able to check all platforms before purchasing a movie or TV series, it could pump up Apple’s revenues massively. Apple dropped the subscription tax for service providers from 30 to 15 per cent, in order to attract the likes of HBO, AMC, ABC and potentially NBC, if it manages to sweep the issues with its parent Comcast and Apple under the rug.