Apple is looking to get into the original programming industry, which is a move that has long been expected from the company.

According to sources mentioned in an exclusive report by Variety, Apple has been holding preliminary discussions over the past weeks with Hollywood executives to gauge their interest in leading production for entertainment content.

It is not clear, however, whether Apple is looking to focus its production efforts on TV series or movies, with there being a possibility that the company will be looking to create both formats.

A representative for Apple declined to comment regarding the matter, Variety reported.

While the extent of Apple's plans is not yet clear, a high-level executive that spoke to the company said that its goal is to be able to put up development and production units which would push out streaming content that will rival the offerings of Netflix and Amazon Prime. The source added that Apple is looking to put up a headhunting unit to make the necessary hires over the coming months, with the development and production units being planned to be up and running by next year.

While there are sources that think Apple is not that serious about the plan as of now, another source pointed out a fact that shows the escalation of interest from the company in pursuing it. Apple reportedly made a bid to sign the stars of the highly-popular TV series Top Gear when they left BBC earlier in the year, but Amazon won the bid to sign Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May back in July.

The report comes just before Apple is expected to unveil its new iPhones in an event in San Francisco on Sept.9, along with a new Apple TV device that it could be launching side-by-side with an online TV service. Apple reportedly was planning to unveil the products in June, but decided to push back the plan to September.

Originally produced TV shows and movies would prove to be valuable to the online subscription TV service that Apple is said to be developing. It is believed that the service would offer around 25 channels, including major networks such as ABC, CBS and Fox, which would be accessible on all iOS devices including the aforementioned Apple TV.

Apple would not be taking much of a risk by getting into the industry, as the massive amount of up to billions of dollars needed to create TV shows and movies is nothing for Apple, which holds $200 billion in cash. However, the benefits would be huge for the company, as it would be equipping itself to better challenge tech rivals such as Google and Facebook.

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