The Time Warner Cable COO said they would be open to giving up control of the user interface to Apple devices but don't want “to give up the customer relationship”. I don't understand. I still pay Verizon to use my iPhone; wouldn't I still pay Time Warner to use my Apple TV? What does he mean by "customer relationship"?
I believe he means subscriber data. This probably stems from the fact that Apple took control of this from magazine/newspaper publishers with Newsstand and others are worried they’d try to control it elsewhere.
But I think you’re right, it’s more likely Apple will partner with the cable companies as they did with the cellular ones. And if that’s the case, those companies would retain the customer relationship.