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What Does Comcast Want Out of Apple?

By Erin Kennedy and Evan Niu, CFA – Mar 25, 2014 at 9:30PM

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Apple and Comcast are reportedly in negotiations for a possible partnership. Will Comcast benefit from hooking up with the Mac maker?

With the reported talks between Apple (AAPL 0.70%) and Comcast (CMCSA -0.64%) about a potential partnership, what does Comcast gain from the rumored deal? There may be some seeming similarities with Apple's initial iPhone partnership with AT&T years ago, but there are many notable differences. Cable service is not metered like cellular data, but cable is also seeing the cord-cutting trend continue. If Apple can mitigate cord-cutting with its brand strength and improved experience, Comcast could benefit from higher retention.

Additionally, Apple may sell its set-top boxes directly to consumers instead of the current model where customers lease set-top boxes from cable providers. Meanwhile, Apple may risk tarnishing its brand by association. Comcast has quite a poor reputation for customer service, which contrasts with Apple's strong reputation. There has also been a lot of debate around net neutrality, which could further complicate this deal.

In this segment of Tech Teardown, Erin Kennedy discusses Apple and Comcast with Evan Niu, CFA, our tech and telecom bureau chief.

Erin Kennedy owns shares of Apple. Evan Niu, CFA owns shares of Apple. Evan Niu, CFA has the following options: long January 2015 $460 calls on Apple and short January 2015 $480 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and Netflix. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Netflix. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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