Apple Turns To Canada's BCE Inc. and Rogers Communications to Launch iTV (Report)

The Canadian carriers reportedly already have a prototype to turn TV sets into giant iPads in their development labs.

TORONTO - Canadian TV providers Rogers Communications and BCE Inc. are helping Apple colonize TV.

The Globe and Mail newspaper on Tuesday reported Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple has approached Rogers and Bell to get on board with its iTV product.

Rogers and BCE, which compete to offer Canadians TV, Internet and mobile services while operating conventional TV networks, are expected to supply Apple with wireless and broadband capabilities as it looks to turn Canadian TV sets into giant iPads.

The Globe and Mail cited anonymous sources that indicated Rogers and BCE are already testing the iTV prototype in their development labs.

Jeffries analyst Peter Misek in an investors note issued Monday said he expects Apple’s iTV product to be offered by AT&T and Verizon in the U.S. and Bell and Rogers in Canada.

The iTV product promises voice control through Apple’s Siri software, control of the TV by voice and hand gestures recognized by a front-facing camera and use of the Internet, social media and other web-based technologies.

Rogers’ Citytv network and BCE’s CTV network have a rich supply of American programming that could help launch Apple’s iTV product to Canadian consumers.