Tim Cook hints at Apple’s next big thing

Tim Cook:

“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,” Cook told Williams. “It’s an area of intense interest. I can’t say more than that.”

What Tim didn’t say is that Apple would be making their own television. His comments could be directed towards the content on the TV or how we interact with the device.

  • rwitt

    Apple making a TV makes no sense. When I buy a TV I want it to last a decade. Apple releases products that, ideally, should be replaced every 2-3 years. The technology in an Apple branded TV would be outdated way before the television monitor part.

    I think it will be a set-top box similar to the Apple TV but with more features and better content distribution options. An actual Apple television makes little sense

    • quietstorms

      I doubt it would be too dependent on specs and would rely mostly on cloud services.

      The question for Apple going forward is whether they can hit a competitive price point. They have done a very good job recently, especially with iOS devices.

    • I’m with you. It’s the crappy devices that plug into TV’s now that are the problem, not screens. I can see certain Apple faithful fantasizing about a screen with no inputs, that is totally driven by an iPad or iPhone, but the average Joe is NOT ready for that (The cable box is not ready to go the way of the optical drive). And Apple needs a new giant, mass market product to keep their insane momentum going.

  • mvcmendes

    Back when he gave that AllThingsD interview, he said:

    “I think many people would say this is an area in their life they are not really pleased with. They might not be pleased with many things about it. The whole TV experience. So it’s an interesting area. We’ll see what we’ll do. Right now our contribution is Apple TV, and we feel really good about it.”

    Today’s statement supressed that last part. They’re past the “we’ll see” part now.

  • blipsman

    Given how well Apple has done with large displays (I love my 27″ iMac) and how much margin they can command, I can see them making their own TVs… I agree that the lifespan is longer than the typical Apple product, but perhaps there’s a way to swap out some hardware (I know, not an Apple strong point) within the TV to keep it current. Sort of like embedding a current AppleTV within the monitor case.

  • Let’s people dev app/channel for current AppleTV and let idevice act as remote/paddle and you have already something almost revolutionary.

    You pay the channel/app you want, with subscription like you pay for The Magazine i.e.

    For now you can count on two hands the ipad apps that use the ipad AND the apple TV (not only mirroring). It’s a niche that needs exposure and promotion.

  • Sounds like it is more about content distribution than simply an Apple branded LCD panel. There are no margins in the LCD business and Apple is where the margins are.

    Now content distribution… Apple is now big enough to overpay on whatever content they’d like to have exclusively on iTunes. And users are clearly willing to spend ridiculous amounts on their current useless cable TV subscriptions, so that sounds more like a high-margin market to disrupt.

    • quietstorms

      Apple could solely be interested in the TV business to sell more iPhones and iPads.

      I don’t think exclusivity would matter to Apple unless they were producing the content. The money just isn’t there. It’s from cable subscribers who pay to watch it when it’s being shown so they can talk about it on Twitter.

      Unless Apple is willing to buy up numerous production studios they will still have to rely on cable services. They were invisible during the college football negotiations while ESPN signed them up through 2026.

  • Domicinator

    I absolutely love the current Apple TV–it’s probably the most used gadget in our house. I don’t see why they couldn’t use it in its current format to deliver content. A simple software update could change everything. Let the people already losing their shirts in the TV biz make the TV hardware–the Apple TV can turn any of those units into an Apple unit. I think streaming boxes are definitely the way to go for Apple. If you get the cable companies on board, then sure, stick a DVR in there or something if you want to. Or let me subscribe to channels ala carte and give me the content on demand. I don’t care how you do it–all I need is the little box, not a whole new TV.

    I imagine what they will end up doing is probably a combination of both. You can buy our TV if you want, but we’ll update the Apple TV box as well. Of course the fancier more expensive TV would have more features.

  • D Pauw

    Well don’t put your Time Capsule in your living room then. Sheesh.

  • Gene Munster’s head just exploded.

    • mvcmendes

      Nah. Gene Munster’s been ‘predicting’ the yes-but-no-but-maybe-imminent-Apple TV every 4 months for 2 years. That’s not a prediction. That’s a guess.

  • John W Baxter

    Cue Gene Munster, who has just been handed an opportunity to be wrong again.

  • tylernol

    the “Apple TV” is going to be: –the current Apple TV with… – content deals with major cable channels – cloud based “Tivo” recording of shows

    no need for some revolutionary piece of hardware.

    • lucascott

      They don’t need cable or TiVo. They need studios and nets and better content deals.

      • tylernol

        that’s what I meant if I was not clear. Content Provider deals (deals with AMC,HBO, and ESPN would make me super happy) and the ability to time-shift live programming such as sports , without forcing you to do the storage locally.

        • jindofox

          That’s my prediction as well. It’s so simple and obvious, yet no one is talking about this possibility. In the cloud/content deal, everyone wins: – the cable companies keep their subscribers (you would still need a subscription to get many services); – Apple would not need to sell any new manufactured widgets, but would use the existing AppleTV as a gateway to their data centers; – consumers would not need to run DVRs with spinning hard drives that run out of storage space.

          I can’t think of any other reason for TV apps like HBO Go to have reduced functionality (no AirPlay or HDMI out) than to wonder if they have something better planned.

          Sometime in the (far off?) future, this will evolve into the TV a la carte options that everyone wants but the media companies are unwilling to provide.

  • So can they stop referring to it as a “hobby” now?

  • fairlite

    I’m prepared to explore another avenue in this discussion. And this time It seems; if you all feel that there is any plausibility to this idea, that a lot of deliverable content has been established before Apple makes any move forward with Apple TV. If as rumours, discussions, people familiar with the matter, are to be believed then, additional deliverable content may well be on the table for discussion. Apple did look into this market place some 15-16 years ago but neither technology not the content were there to really get their join venture off the ground. There is plenty of room in the market place and perhaps…just perhaps, Apple could be batting around the idea that this time around ‘Pippin’ might well work this time.

  • lucascott

    I agree that this is NOT confirmation that Apple is making a TV set.

    It is just as likely they will do a new STB and revamped Cinema Displays with a larger size option, HDMI etc. I would love to see one that could handle the passive 3d used by Pixar etc and see those titles added to the store. I’d pay $3-4 more a title if 3d was included in the HD pack (which should go down a good $5 anyway) along with some nice alt audio and subtitles plus iTunes extras features that also work on my iOS devices. Play them via a new Apple TV STB with like 64gb of streaming etc space

    And when I’m picking up off season gigs editing and I need more screen real estate I can use the display with my computers.

  • dcorby23

    What time span of Apple products? I still use almost all of the Apple products I have and some of them are more than 10 years old. Way older than my current (LG) TV set.