As rumors and speculation about an Apple television set continue to heat up, Toronto-based Globe and Mail reported that Apple is talking to Canadian carriers Rogers and Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE) about being Canadian launch partners for such a product. Citing unnamed sources, the newspaper went so far as to say that both carriers had prototypes in their labs.
The report leaned on the name “iTV,” which was recently put forward by a Wall Street analyst as the name Apple would go with when it introduces the product later in 2012. Apple currently markets a settop box under the name Apple TV.
Two sets of sources were intimated by the report. The first set claimed that Apple had approached Rogers and BCE, saying, “[Apple isn’t] closed to doing it with one [carrier] or doing it with two. They’re looking for a partner. They’re looking for someone with wireless and broadband capabilities.”
A second source of the newspaper’s claimed that prototypes of the Apple devices were in the hands of the carriers’ labs. If that’s actually the case, it would suggest that Apple is ahead of where most rumors, leaks, and speculation has placed Apple.
While some reports have claimed that Apple is already contracting manufacturers for ready-to-go products, the bulk of reports that TMO considers more credible have painted a picture of Apple still working out exactly what kind of TV or TV device it will bring to market.
To that affect, if we look back at Apple and the rumors that surround the company, none have been both as persistent and so scattered as have those involving the company’s interest in entering the television market. This could be related in part to the late Steve Jobs telling his biographer, Walter Isaacson, that he had finally cracked the code on how to make an Internet-connected TV work well enough to be a hit with consumers.
It’s that Internet-connected bit that would appear to be at the heart of why Apple would be looking for carriers to partner with on its TV. Both firms have both broadband and wireless services it offers in Canada. It’s possible that Apple wants to deliver its TV with such providers just as it works with specific carriers to sell the iPhone.
All that said, we recommend taking this report with a grain of salt. There could be all kinds of reasons why Apple is talking to Rogers and BCE, assuming the Globe and Mail’s sources know what they’re talking about.