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Apple In Talks With Major Networks For TV Content on iPad

Apple Computers has been in talks with TVs major networks in an attempt to have them join an online subscription service for television content for the company’s new Kindle-like tablet device, according to earlier this week.

The plan for Apple is to reportedly offer around four to six shows per channel. Apple CEO Steve Jobs anticipates that the tablet could eventually introduce entirely new methods of storytelling that would combine traditional text with photos, video, and animation. According to the London Financial Times, Apple is putting pressure on the TV networks to cut the prices in half from what they currently charge for shows on iTunes — from $1.99 to $1.00. The newspaper said that the networks have balked at the proposal.

Sales of TV shows represented only a tiny contribution to iTunes’s $2 billion in sales last year.

Most tech analysts say that Apple invented the “smartphone” category by setting a standard and continually challenging competitors with its popular iPhone device. Now Apple set a standard for the foundation of the tablet market and automatically dethroned as the leader in the new market, even before customers are allowed to pre-order the device.

David Wertheimer, CEO and executive director of the Entertainment Technology Center@ USC (ETC@USC), thinks the iPad, like the iPhone, is only the beginning of the tablet PC market and there will be a lot more to come from Apple and its competitors.

“The iPad is a beautiful, thin, letter-sized iPhone, but with loads of potential,” says Wertheimer. “The base platform is the critical foundation — but as a foundation, it’s a really beautiful iPhone XXL.  However, as with the iPhone, the apps that take advantage of the new form factor will make all the difference.  What we saw today was only a foreshadowing of what we will see once Apple sets the developer community loose on the platform.”

In contrast to the iPhone, the iPad could be a device that analysts say “anyone can have” and Apple hit the competitive price point at $499. This new device is reaching out to the populous—something Apple claims it does with all its products—and sparking intrigue to completely new demographics. Some experts think the iPad will actually be that one device that could fit comfortably in someone’s everyday lifestyle.

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