When asked about the idea of Apple building a set-top box that would sit in a person's living room and provide Internet content as well as cable programming, Steve Jobs said it would never happen because unlike music labels, cable companies aren't national—they're regional. Therefore it would be pretty damn difficult to build a device that allowed people all over the country—and all across the globe—to watch cable TV.

However, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Apple has been trying to strike a deal with U.S. cable companies for the past two years. Unfortunately, the cable companies don't want to do business with the company that upended the music and movie business with its iTunes Store. The fear of Apple dominating another media market is very real. Just ask the book business.

The industry has been eagerly awaiting the arrival of an Apple-branded HDTV, but it seems that before we get that, the Cupertino, CA. company may try to invade the living room with a set-top box. Or, perhaps, this is the product Jobs had in mind all the while. 

[via WSJ]