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While Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon are established names for streaming TV shows and original content, it's still possible for another gang to break into this business if they have deep enough pockets -- and few possible competitors have more spare cash to go around than Apple Inc.

A new report from The Information indicates that the company, said to have nearly $250 billion burning a hole in its pocket, is preparing to launch a subscription TV service in over 100 countries next year.

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The Cupertino-based company is notoriously tight-lipped about future plans and did not comment for the story, and it's still not entirely clear what form this service will take. While we appear to be leaning towards a Netflix model of on-demand content, there may be room for a live TV service to compete with stalwarts like Sling TV (Android, iOS) or PlayStation Vue (the latter of which was just integrated into the Apple TV platform).

And in the case of Hulu (Android, iOS), we know that on-demand and live content can also co-exist in the same app.

Either way, we know that Apple has been spending big on original content for its upcoming service, pulling in people like M. Night Shyamalan, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, and Ronald D. Moore, who developed the Battlestar Galactica series for SyFy. CNBC reported just a couple weeks ago that Apple intends to deliver some or all of this original content for free to users of its devices.

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For a service to compete with Netflix (Android, iOS) and Amazon Prime Video (Android, iOS), international reach is critical. Netflix has been growing steadily beyond the borders of the United States since 2010, so it has quite a headstart. It's been available in all of North America since 2011, it reached most of Europe by the summer of 2015, and it expanded to several Asian markets in 2016. At this point, Netflix can be streamed in 190 countries, and Amazon Prime Video's reach is even greater.

According to The Information, Apple intends to begin in the US in the first half of 2019 and extend rapidly to the rest of the countries on its roster for the remainder of the year. If the claim about Apple giving away its content to owners of iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Apple TVs is accurate, this may give the company just the catalyst it needs to hit all of its target markets.


  • A new report by The Information says that Apple plans to launch its upcoming streaming TV service in 100 countries by the end of next year.
  • Netflix currently operates in 190 countries, and Amazon Prime Video is available in 200.
  • Owners of an iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple TV will reportedly receive Apple's original content for free, which may help spur the platform's growth.

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Tom McNamara is a Senior Editor for CNET's Download.com. He mainly covers Windows, mobile and desktop security, games, Google, streaming services, and social media. Tom was also an editor at Maximum PC and IGN, and his work has appeared on CNET, PC Gamer, MSN.com, and Salon.com. He's also unreasonably proud that he's kept the same phone for more than two years.