Apple is believed to be planning to launch a new web-based video service that will take on Netflix and jump ahead of YouTube plans to launch streaming video and TV channels.
The strategy – aimed at bolstering its massive iOS installed base and supporting the growing popularity of its Apple TV technology – will hinge on Apple’s data centre plans, especially around a new data centre that is going live in North Carolina, with further data centres planned for Europe and the US.
The data centres will then be used to deliver video to iOS and Apple TV devices.
Apple planning TV in the cloud?
Speculation around Apple’s plans are being fuelled by a report by Jeffries analyst Peter Misek.
Misek believes Apple CEO Steve Jobs wants to do for video what he achieved with music via iTunes and the iPod and would see this as an epic final act.
He believes Apple will launch either a new set top box or an Apple-branded HDTV in 2012 or 2013, taking advantage of Apple’s expertise in displays, hardware and supply chain.
Apple could also be building more data centres to cope with its plans to create cloud-based storage lockers for music so individuals can stream their favourite music to their handsets or other connected devices wherever they are.
Such a move makes sense because Amazon – which is incidentally building out additional data centres in Dublin – stole a march on Apple and Google in creating a cloud locker for consumers’ music, albeit apparently without seeking the music industry’s permission.
It emerged last week that YouTube is planning to drive professional content online and is investing US$100m in its bid to take on players like Netflix and Hulu and the traditional TV broadcast world.