It will be available in the US in the first half and roll out to other countries in the following months, three people familiar with the company’s plans said. It is expect to launch in over 100 countries, making Apple a competitor with both Amazon and Netflix.
The service will include Apple’s original programmes free to Apple device owners and also will enable users to sign up for TV network subscriptions owned by other companies. Apple has reportedly set aside $1 billion to create and purchase content for the Apple TV.
Already Apple uses its TV service – pre-installed on Apple devices including the iPhone, iPad and the Apple TV box to provide a stream of content. In the UK this includes Netflix, the BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub. In other countries, there a similar set-ups.
Meanwhile, Apple is also pushing its Apple TV set-top as a replacement for legacy cable boxes, with a number of providers already providing their products directly on Apple TV, including Salt in Switzerland and Canal+ in France, T-Mobile Thuis in The Netherlands, and reportedly also BT in the UK.