Top Gear bid hints at Apple's juicy plans
Apple is hatching plans to create its own original television shows, even making an audacious bid to secure the former stars of Top Gear, it has emerged.
The iPhone maker has reportedly met several high-level media executives with a view to creating its own shows in the same way that Amazon and Netflix have done.
Apple attempted to win a bidding war for Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, the former stars of the BBC's motoring programme, according to Variety. Amazon eventually secured the deal in July, paying a reported US$250 million ($393 million) for the trio.
Moving into original content would be a major step for Apple, which makes most of its money from selling hardware. It sells music, films and television shows on the iTunes Store, but not its own. However, the company did make a move into production with Beats 1, the international radio station included in Apple Music.
Netflix and Amazon's Prime TV have invested heavily in original content, producing critically acclaimed titles such as House of Cards and Transparent, although the Clarkson investment represents another level of commitment.
Apple is widely expected to unveil a new model of its internet-connected set-top box Apple TV next week, alongside new iPhone and iPad models. The company has not refreshed the Apple TV for two and a half years, and the device has been described as a "hobby" by chief executive Tim Cook, but it is believed to be considering a further push for control of the living room.
In April, HBO's on-demand service went live exclusively on Apple devices, and the company is believed to have been locked in discussions with networks for some time about a live television service.