Opinion: Investors nervous about TV efforts in wake of Comcast, Time Warner Cable
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — In 2000, Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs referred to Apple Inc.′s efforts in TV as a “hobby.”
To investors, that meant it′s not a very big business. In fact, Apple AAPL +0.37% still does not break down sales of its little Apple TV box in its financial statements. In its current form, Apple TV is a device, like the Roku player and others, lets consumers stream digital content from the Internet or their Apple devices, on their HDTVs.
对于投资者来说，这意味着TV并不是一笔值得投资的大生意。事实上，苹果至今仍未在财务报告中公布Apple TV的销量。从目前的形式看来，Apple TV是一个和Roku播放器类似的设备，它能够让消费者在高清电视上观看来自网络或者苹果设备上的数字内容。
The topic of what will Apple do next in this arena became an obsession for investors, especially after reading comments by the late Steve Jobs in Walter Isaacson′s 2001 biography.
“I′d like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use,” Jobs told Isaacson. “It would be seamlessly synched with all your devices and with iCloud. It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.”
So far, though, Apple has never confirmed that it would develop its own television. In 2000, The Wall Street Journal reported that the company was talking to cable operators about a set-top box, but it could not negotiate any deals that would let it offer more ambitious programming, including live television. Recent reports indicate a new set top box is in the works, with content deals still being ironed out.
But its talks with one key potential video content partner, Time Warner Cable Inc. TWC -0.43% could now be in jeopardy. Investors are now wondering how the proposed $45 billion merger of Comcast Corp. CMCSA -0.47% and Time Warner Cable will effect the next version of Apple TV.
但苹果已经同一家至关重要的潜力股视频内容合作伙伴进行商讨，那就是时代华纳有线电视公司。时代华纳现在处于危险的状态。投资者们很好奇以450亿美元收购时代华纳的康卡斯特公司（Comcast Corp）将如何影响下一代的Apple TV。
Apple does not comment on unannounced products, and a spokesman declined to comment to a MarketWatch reporter late last week about the Bloomberg story on its talks with Time Warner Cable.
“There is no way that Comcast is going to do this with Apple,” said Colin Dixon, chief analyst and founder of nScreenMedia. “They are really competitive with Apple. Comcast rents and sells movies, Apple rents and sells movies. They certainly don′t want Apple messing around with their interface and getting in with their customers.”
nScreenMedia的首席分析师兼创始人科林-迪克森（ Colin Dixon）说道：“康卡斯特不可能会与苹果进行合作，他们与苹果是竞争关系。康卡斯特出租并售卖电影，苹果也做同样的事情。康卡斯特一定不会想让苹果篡改他们的界面，也不会想让苹果共享他们的用户群。”
Many analysts are expecting that the Comcast proposal to buy Time Warner Cable will get regulatory approval, as newer entrants in streaming video have made the market more competitive. So if indeed Comcast truly looks upon Apple as a foe and is not interested in its set-top box, what does it mean for Apple TV′s future? Investors have been hoping that Apple will change the TV business, as it has upended a few other industries.
Some have been counting on Apple to introduce its own television or combined Mac, one that would realize Jobs′s vision for a big-screen HDTV that can be ultra simple to use and controlled by any Apple device. On Monday, ReadWrite suggested that one way Apple could realize Jobs′s vision would be to turn its current iTunes service into a streaming service more like Netflix Inc. NFLX -.00% , with a far lower-cost or a flat-rate pricing structure, instead of a pay-per-movie scenario. ReadWrite also theorized Apple should also add search and an app store to Apple TV for further improvements.
许多人盼望着苹果出品自己的电视，或者与Mac结合，它将实现乔布斯对于大屏高清电视的愿望，这个设备将会易于使用、易于被苹果设备控制。周一，ReadWrite发表文章表示苹果能够实现乔布斯这一梦想的一种方法就是将苹果现有的iTunes服务转变为流媒体服务，就像Netflix一样，这样能减少成本，达到一个固定费率的价格结构，而不用给每部电影都付费。ReadWrite还认为，为了长远的发展，苹果应该也为Apple TV增加搜索功能和app store。
Apple investors keep hoping for new products or new product areas to reinvigorate the company′s earnings momentum. In fact, investors are so hopeful that Apple may enter new product arena that they were riveted by a report in the San Francisco Chronicle over the weekend that Apple′s M&A chief Adrian Perica met with Tesla Motors Inc. TSLA -0.74% CEO Elon Musk.
苹果的投资者一直期待着它能发布新产品或者开发新的产品领域，以重振公司盈利增长的势头。事实上，投资者的期待是很有希望实现的，有报道透露苹果的企业并购负责人艾德里安·佩里卡（Adrian Perica）曾与特斯拉汽车公司CEO艾伦-马斯克（Elon Musk）进行会见。
Whether or not Apple TV will ever be among its future industry-changing forays remains a big question. Recent reports and rumors have lead many investors to now hope that Apple will launch its next generation Apple TV set-top box in either late March or April.
Apple TV是否会完成苹果的行业转换还是一个未解之谜。最近的报道和传闻已经让投资者怀有希望：苹果将在三月末或四月开发下一代Apple TV机顶盒。