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Apple TV can replace your Charter Spectrum cable box later this year

Bye box.

A woman stands on the stage at WWDC with Charter Spectrum's logo behind her

Charter's Spectrum cable service is the third biggest by subscribers in the US.

Screenshot by Sarah Tew/CNET

The Apple TV streaming-television device can replace the clunky cable box for Charter Spectrum cable subscribers later this year, Apple said Monday at its Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose.

WWDC is the event at which Apple details the newest software that will hit its devices later in the year. It comes as software and services become even more important to Apple. The company still sells millions of iPhones every quarter, but sales aren't rising as much as they used to. With people are holding onto their devices for longer, convincing consumers to sign up for services that get they paying monthly has grown more crucial for Apple. The gadget giant has emphasized augmented reality, mobile payments, streaming music and other areas as key focuses over the past couple of years.

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Charter's Spectrum cable service is the third biggest by subscribers in the US. With its Apple partnership, up to 50 million households will be able to use Apple TV to access their Spectrum live television.

"As more and more cable companies fundamentally shift how video gets to your TV, your typical cable box is becoming a thing of the past," Apple TV's lead designer said on stage.

Spectrum already has an app for watching live television on Roku, as well. 

Apple also touted similar partnerships in other countries, such as with TV provider Canal+ in France and Salt in Switzerland. 

In the early days of Apple TV, the company positioned its streaming media box as a "hobby." Apple finally updated Apple TV in late 2015, releasing it with new software -- tvOS -- that lets developer make apps, and a new remote that works with Siri. Apple also boosted the starting price to $149 from $99. 

Shara Tibken contributed to this report. 

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