Cook upgrades Apple's television ambitions from "beloved hobby" to "intense interest"

Cook upgrades Apple's television ambitions from "beloved hobby" to "intense interest"

When Apple CEO Tim Cook sat down with NBC's Brian Williams for a wide-ranging interview about the past, present, and future of Apple (set in Apple's mammoth Grand Central Terminal store, no less), he closed with an interesting note. According to what he told Rock Center:

"When I go into my living room and turn on the TV, I feel like I have gone backwards in time by 20 to 30 years. It's an area of intense interest. I can't say more than that."

Of course, rumors and speculation about Apple's television ambitions have been swirling for years, spurred on in no small part thanks to the musings of the late Steve Jobs about Apple and the modern living room centerpiece. It's no secret that Apple wants to revolutionize the television set (despite their silence on the matter), just as they've revolutionized personal computing, mobile phones, and tablets over the years. As always, there are significant hurdles to Apple conquering the living room, the biggest being the holy grail of television content: live television.

But up to today, Apple's public line on television has always been that the adorable-yet-useful Apple TV box has been nothing more than a hobby (occasionally a beloved hobby). With Tim Cook declaring that the "backwards" television user experience is an "area of intense interest" for Apple and something that he can't discuss more definitely seems to be implying that they're getting even more serious. In fact, you could say he's implying that it's now only a matter of "when" for an Apple television set, not "if", though the rumors and speculation have always pegged it as "when", often with hilariously poor accuracy. We'll just stick to our Magic 8 Ball for prognosticating… concentrate and ask again?

Source: Rock Center

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Derek Kessler

Managing Editor of Mobile Nations, occasional web designer, Army musician, armchair pundit, news addict, all-around nerd, professional ranter, and user of many phones.

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Reader comments

Cook upgrades Apple's television ambitions from "beloved hobby" to "intense interest"


As much as I want Apple to disrupt the tv space. I DON'T WANT an Apple TV set. I have a great set here that would be crying for a a better set top experience. Give me a siri enabled device that does all of itunes and cable and we can talk.

LOL I know what you mean, But I have extricated myself from the Cult of Apple. I still enjoy them but not to the rabid nature some have fallen into.

Agreed. Let the TV manufactures do what they do best (provide visually stunning television sets) and give us Siri enabled HD AppleTV.

other then the fact that i'll only buy a new tv probably every 8 or 9 years my issue with the appletv product is it simply doesn't play enough formats. Maybe when i can transitions some of my old rips to newer formats but i still have too much xvid, divx, mkvs, isos, to play.

While I'd welcome a more entertainment oriented advancement in the TV sector, I hope Apple starts taking the BUSINESS aspects of their Apple TV device more seriously... or break it off as a separate product!

Currently, for business users who want to use their iPads or iPhones to give presentations via AirPlay (which is REALLY awesome to be able to do), they have to have an Apple TV, a HDMI projector (or display), and a WiFi network. If the in-house network isn't accessible, and/or the projector isn't HDMI capable, this means lugging projectors, wifi hubs, cables and convertors along with a nice tidy iPad. If Apple would make an Apple TV-like device with the WiFi hub built in and analog out, folks would only have to bring their iPad and this device. It would be an incredible advancement in this way (even more than it already is).

LOL... yea, and like I'd actually WANT to talk to my TV, EVEN IF it got it correct. It might be cool to some techie who doesn't get out much, but I don't think most people really want to no matter how possible it is. Just like I don't really WANT to wave my arms around to navigate a UI using something like Kinect, just because someone figured out how to do it. The novelty of it kind of wears off after the first time you show your buddies so they can ohhh and ahhh over the wonder of it.

Find a way to get reliable live transmission of certain content (mostly sports, but some news/happenings) and I'll punt cable/FIOS in a heartbeat.