Covered by Bloomberg earlier today, Apple and Time Warner have been reported to be taking part in closed negotiations in regards to the addition of HBO’s streaming video application on Apple’s set-top box. While the negotiations are currently private, the addition of the HBO GO application on Apple TV hardware will mean subscribers of premium television programming will be able to access HBO’s large library of content on all versions of the Apple TV. Assuming the application does become available during mid-2013, that would be the first Apple TV application that requires authentication through a cable or satellite service.
Apple has been particularly slow in adding new applications to the Apple TV device in comparison to other competitors. For instance, Roku added support for the HBO GO streaming video app more than a year ago and Microsoft added the HBO application to the Xbox 360 during March 2012.
Apple also lagged behind many competitors in adding the Hulu Plus streaming video application to the set-top box. While apps for HBO GO, Hulu Plus and other streaming video applications launch fairly expediently for Apple’s line of mobile devices, development for the Apple TV continues to take a back seat to support for other products.
However, Apple has had more success in selling the Apple TV set-top box over competitors selling a similar product. For instance, Apple has sold over ten million Apple TV devices over the past few years. Comparatively, Roku is getting close to five million devices sold according to a recent post on the official company blog. It’s likely that both companies will launch updated versions of the set-top box during 2013. According to recent FCC filings, the new version of the Apple TV will contain component changes. Apple hasn’t specified what hardware will be upgraded within the set-top box, but the company could announce changes to the device during a press event later this year.