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Apple reportedly in talks with cable for new set-top launch

Apple is reportedly in talks with US cable operators to secure video content rights for the launch of a new version of its Apple TV set-top box.

According to Bloomberg, citing unnamed sources, Apple plans to unveil its new device in April and have it on sale by Christmas, although the full launch date could be dependent on it securing a deal with operators and programmers.

The device will reportedly have a faster processor than the existing Apple TV box and a new UI to enable easier navigation between TV and online content, according to the report.

Apple is reportedly in talks with major US cable operators but faces a hurdle over authentication, with Apple preferring to use its own identifiers and cable operators preferring to keep their customer information separate, according to the sources cited by Bloomberg.

The move would represent a scaling down of Apple’s previous reported plans, which included securing the rights to full seasons of current shows and offering live programming, with the possibility of charging extra for ad-free programming. According to the Wall Street Journal, the company is currently proposing something that would be more akin to a traditional cable VoD service, offering recent episodes of series and disabling ad skipping for the first three days of availability.