Two Canadian telecommunications companies, Rogers and Bell, are rumoured to be testing out Apple iTV in their labs. One anonymous source at the Canadian paper called "The Globe and Mail" believes that Apple is looking for a partner that have both wireless and broadband capabilities.
This means the iTV will have services that blend broadband and wireless services into a revolutionary TV experience.
Rogers and Bell already have Apple iTV in their labs.
Rumours claim that iTV will have SIri voice-recognition onboard to assist viewers to make programming choices.
Another speculated feature envolve enabling vewers to use hand gestures, while an on-screen keyboard will let you engage with a hand gesture-based keyboard. Welcome to the "air keyboard", this will be a new experience for sure.
iTV will most likely be iOS-based and be a very large gesture-based, voice-activated iPad. It may even have a Retina display supporting ultra-high definition TV.
iTV is also expected to be another Apple screen as we transition from mobile smartphone to tablet to TV throughout our day. Easy user experience handoffs between devices will be totally asured (e.g. AirPlay).
Testing by telecoms companies suggests that the Apple iTV may be tied into a broadband provider when it finally materialises.
Apple TV is not compelling enough for most consumers in the age of NetFlix, which the second generation Apple TV supports. Apple TV is expected to have a short self-life and it's days are numbered.
iTV is important for Apple's growth in the next 3 years as demand for the iPhone wanes. TV is one of the last frontiers for Apple that complements iTunes and their App Store perfectly.
While this rumor has Apple working with Canadian broadband carriers, the last we've heard about the US is that Apple is having a difficult time landing deals. The product will be tied closely to carriers delivering services to support the product.
Deals involve money, protective behaviour from carriers, and new bundled services that must be provisioned. This takes time.
What I have seen in the Canadian marketplace is that recruiters have been hiring mobile developers who know iOS for new video services. It is very hush-hush and I have even attended some interviews for these opportunities.
2013 is poised to be an interesting year of new mobile television services in Canada.
iTV will inevitably be part of this evolution.