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Apple's Tim Cook talks television and the surprising success of Apple TV

Karen Haslam | May 31, 2013
Cook reveals the success of the Apple TV and the company's continued interest in finding a way to bring TV into the 21st Century

Cook emphasised that the company is learning from the Apple TV and that it is an area of interest for the company. "It continues to be an area of great interest to us. And I do think that the Apple TV product, the relationships that build around it, and the work that we've done technically around it provide a lot more knowledge than we would have had without that product."

If TV is broken, how will Apple fix it?
The assumption is that via Apple TV the company can learn the expectations and requirements of customers. It is clear to Cook that the current TV model is broken: "I think many of us would agree that there's lots of things about the TV experience that can be better, we answered some of those clearly not all of those, with Apple TV, and we're going to continue to make that better," promised Cook.

He later added: "When you look at the TV experience it's not an experience that I think may people love, it's not an experience that you would say has been bought up to date for this decade. It's still an experience that is still to much like it was ten years ago and in many cases 20 years ago. "

The off switch
Swisher and Mossberg pushed for more information, with Swisher pointing out that Apple's late CEO Steve Jobs had talked about wanting to change TV dramatically, and Mossberg asking "Is Hollywood holding it up? Is something technical holding it up?"

As expected Cook offered no answers. "I don't want to go into detail. As you might have guessed," he said.

He added: "I don't want to go any further on this because I don't want to give anyone any ideas they don't already have."

Emphasising: "I have nothing to announce, but it's an area of incredible interest."

Steve Jobs' television revelations
Speculation that Apple will launch a television was fuelled in part by Steve Jobs' own authorised biography. Author Walter Isaacson noted that Jobs: "Very much wanted to do for television what he had done for computers, music players and phones: make them simple and elegant."

Isaacson quoted Jobs saying that he had "cracked" television.

It's not just Jobs who had sparked the rumours. Cook also stoked the faire at D10 last year and in various interviews over the past few months.

At D10 last year Cook described TV as "Interesting". Cook also expressed dismay with the current TV watching experience in an interview with NBC News last year. He said that when he turns on the TV, he feels like he has "gone backwards in time by 20 to 30 years."

This January in a financial results conference call, Cook said of television: "I tend to believe that there is a lot we can contribute to this space. I don't want to be more specific."

 

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