"I believe Apple TV's magic will be performed by a separate box, a descendant of today's £99 Apple TV black puck, perhaps in combination with a new version of Time Capsule. This will enable the no-longer-a-hobby Apple TV to bring its magic to the millions of HDTVs already in homes all over the world - and to be replaced with better/faster hardware without drama."
Only time will tell.
Jony Ive, Apple's quietly mega-successful lead designer, says that Apple's currently working on is the biggest thing Apple has ever done (source: The Telegraph): "What we're working on now feels like the most important and the best work we've done, and so it would be what we're working on right now, which of course I can't tell you about."
Is Ive talking about the iTV?
And Steve's successor as Apple CEO Tim Cook also made a broad hint about a forthcoming Apple TV, during a February 2012 keynote at Goldman Sachs: "I wouldn't want to go into detail about future stuff, obviously Apple doesn't do hobbies, as a general rule. We believe in focus and only working on a few things. With Apple TV, however, despite the barriers in that market, for those of us who use it, we've always thought there was something there.
"And that if we kept following our intuition and kept pulling the string, then we might find something that was larger. For those people that have it right now, the customer satisfaction is off the charts. But we need something that could go more main market for it to be a serious category."
That was a long time ago now, though, and we've still not seen an Apple Television. In fact, even the Apple TV hasn't been updated since the beginning of 2013, and that was just a minor update.
At an All Things Digital conference at the end of May 2012 Apple CEO Tim Cook said technology for televisions was of "intense interest" but calmed the heat of rumour and expectation by saying that the company's efforts would unfold gradually rather than Apple suddenly reveal its revolutionary iTV.
"This is an area of intense interest for us," Cook said, referring to Apple's existing television set-top box Apple TV. We're going to keep pulling this string and see where it takes us."
As of April 2014, Apple had sold almost 20 million Apple TV boxes cumulatively, which highlights the potential of Apple's impact on the industry, whether it sticks to just the set-top box or goes for the fully-fledged television.
"Here's the way we would look at that, not just at this area but other areas, and ask can we control the key technology?" Cook said in 2012 in response to a question about how Apple thinks about improving the TV experience for consumers.
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