∞ Apple expects to sell one millionth new Apple TV this week

It appears that the Apple TV is a “hobby” no longer. Apple announced Tuesday that it expects sales of its recently redesigned Apple TV to top one million units later this week.

[ad#Google Adsense 300×250 in story]The second-generation Apple TV went on sale in October for $99. The black device enables users to stream audio, video and digital picture content from the Mac to a TV using an HDMI connection and Wi-Fi or Ethernet. It replaced an older, much larger and more expensive version that sported an internal hard disk drive.

Key features differentiating the new Apple TV from its predecessor include support for streaming through Netflix’s popular subscription-based video on demand service and “AirPlay,” which lets iTunes users and users of iOS devices to stream music, video or photos directly from their devices to the Apple TV.

Apple’s announcement about Apple TV’s sales is significant for another reason besides the number of units sold: in the past, Apple CEO Steve Jobs has dismissed his own product and others like it as “a hobby. Nobody has succeeded at it.” By announcing sales of a million units in the space of three months, Apple is sending a very different message about the viability of this new generation of Apple TV.