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Tim Cook: there may be more potential in the Apple TV
- — 31 May, 2012 12:47
Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed that Apple has "some incredible things coming out," and spent some time speaking about the television business, but he added that the company would "double down on secrecy on products".
The web is awash with rumours about new Apple products, with a leak coming out of China, where much of Apple's products are manufactured, almost every week. "We're going to double down on secrecy on products. I'm serious," he told Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg at D10. It seems unlikely that this will stop the reporting of speculation about new Apple products, however.
"The juices are flowing. And we have some incredible things coming out," Cook said, sparking even more speculation on the web as to what these products might be.
Cook aided this speculation by speaking about the television business. Apple is widely rumoured to be at work on an Apple television in an attempt to take over the TV market as they have the MP3 player, smartphone and tablet markets.
Cook referred to the existing Apple TV set top box, described for years as a 'hobby product' for Apple, and hinting that there may be more potential there and that it deserves more credit. He also noted that, for many people, television is "an area in their life that they're not really pleased with" and suggested that Apple will "keep pulling this string and see where it takes us".
"I love the product, but I think Apple TV is more something that you keep pulling the string to see where it goes," he added.
And if they do keep pulling the strings, Apple will aim to make a "significant contribution far beyond what others have done in this area" said Cook.
"Here's the way we'd look at it. Not just at this, but other areas. We'd look and ask can we control the key technology? Can we make a significant contribution far beyond what others have done in this area? Can we make a product that we all want? We think we're reasonable proxies for others. So those are things we'd ask about any new product category."
"So it's an interesting area. We'll have to see what we do. Right now, our contribution is Apple TV," Cook added, dispelling any ideas about an immanent launch.
Regarding the Apple TV set top box, Cook said: "It's very uncharacteristic of us: We've stayed in the Apple TV product business, and we're not a hobby kind of company, as you know. Our tendency is to do very few things, put all of our wood behind a few arrows, and if something creeps in and isn't a big success we get it out of the way and move on."
Cook added that the Apple TV isn't "a fifth leg of the stool". He revealed that: "It's not of the same market size of a phone business or the Mac business or the music business or the tablet business. It's not like that. But last year we sold 2.8 million Apple TVs. This year, in the first six months, we've sold 2.7 million. And that was helped by 1080p and movies in the cloud. And so this is an area of intense interest for us. Many of us, the TV that we do watch is almost exclusively on it. That's what my TV watching is. All of my movies, everything, is coming through Apple TV."
He also noted that: "the customer satisfaction with that product is incredible. It's off the charts."