Rogers Communications and Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE), which are two of Canada’s largest service providers, are reportedly in talks with Apple to use the latter’s iTV platform.
Apple’s TV sets have been the subject of rumor and conjecture for quite some time, especially since last year, when a biography on Steve Jobs said he had found a way to come up with an Apple-based TV user interface.
The Globe and Mail reported this morning that Apple is seeking companies that are both wireless and broadband providers to test out its TV sets. A separate, unnamed source said that Rogers and BCE already have Apple’s TV product in their labs, but all three companies declined to comment.
Apple’s iTV reportedly integrates its Siri voice recognition software into TVs to help viewers make their programming choices. The TVs would, in essence, serve as large-screen iPad devices in subscribers’ homes.
According to the Globe story, viewers would be able to control their TVs by voice or hand gestures, while an onscreen keyboard would allow them to surf the Web, use social media sites and conduct video chats, without a physical interface.
Apple has been trying to make its way into the streaming video market, but it has met resistance from content owners in the United States. One advantage of working with Rogers and BCE is that both are also content owners, as well as quad-play service providers.
The Globe story said that Apple’s iTV product would likely work with mobile devices and function as a gaming program.