Apple TV

Recent reports speculate that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) could introduce a new internet television set in less than two years. This news, of course, has many cable and satellite television providers losing sleep as they assume this new tv could put them out of business. JP Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) should ease their worries with a recent report.

According to Apple Insider, one analyst from the financial institution thinks that Apple’s rumored TVwill not come out this year nor do they think it could replace paid television subscriptions. If Apple wanted to take the aggressive route, they would offer iTunes, Hulu, and Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) in addition to regular broadcast television. But analyst Phil Cusick claims that since media content owners have no incentive to allow this to happen, they would probably block any attempt  on that idea.

He also speculates that Apple has two real options. Apple could create a set-top box for cable companies which would give paid tv customers access to both broadcast and internet content, or they could slowly expand their Apple TV without turning it into a full-fledged set top box like TiVo. He thinks the latter is most likely to happen.

What sparked the rumor that Apple was going to finally design a television set? In an interview with Walter Issacson, former Apple CEO Steve Jobs claimed to have finally cracked the secret to creating a simple and elegantly designed television set.

While it is true that internet television has changed that way many people watch TV, I personally don’t see how any internet TV provider could possibly replace cable or satellite.- at least in the near future.  Netflix and Hulu are great but they are both very limited compared to what you get on cable.  iTunes and Amazon have more plentiful options but you have to pay per show or rental and that can certainly adds up. Some may argue that cable TV costs a small fortune every month and that is true, but remember that you get what you pay for.

Unless Apple iTunes and other internet TV providers offer more for less, I really doubt cable providers really have anything to worry about.