Apple has entered into a multi-year agreement with Rovi Corporation, allowing it to license intellectual property from the digital content management company, according to an SEC filing. Details on the deal are sparse, but it has led to speculation that Apple may be up to bringing even more content to the Apple TV.
Rovi Corporation is a player in a number of different fields, including software that allows devices to sync with one another, program guides for service providers, and content-protection technology for producers. Because of the nature of Rovi's business, Piper Jaffray's go-to Apple analyst Gene Munster observed in a note to investors (detailed by Business Insider) that such a licensing deal points in the direction of an all-in-one Apple TV, complete with DVR functionality.
Munster believes that this could happen within the next 2 to 4 years. The time frame would put Apple significantly behind Google in the competition to take over your living room, but Apple has had a great deal of success coming to market second but with a few new paradigms. The strategy could work out well again, assuming Apple's implementation is easy to use.
Munster seems to believe that the Apple TV truly has the potential to be Apple's next great cash-cow. The analyst feels Apple will sell 1.5 million units in fiscal year 2011 alone, up more than a million units from previous years. Further, Munster all but guarantees that Apple will come out with some sort of giant iMac all-in-one TV (it should be noted that this is one prediction that we don't exactly believe in). Still, Apple continues to say that the Apple TV is just a hobby, so perhaps it's wise to see whether the current $99 device survives the next couple years first.
Source: ars technica