Apple CEO Tim Cook said that TV is now “an area of intense interest” in an interview with NBC.
In the past Apple called its Apple TV a “hobby” instead of a full-blown product category. The device was just a way to get iTunes content onto the TV instead of replacing the TV. Now is looks like Apple wants to explore the TV market a bit more.
In the interview Cook said that walking into his living room makes him feel like he’s stepping “backwards in time by 20 to 30 years.”
Analysts have predicted an Apple-made TV for several years now, and Cook’s comment could mean such a device is almost ready. Some rumors say the Apple HDTV will use Siri for navigation and integrate with iTunes content like the current AppleTV. Apple could also partner with content creators and cable companies to let the Apple HDTV have access to even more content.
There were some rumors that Apple is in talks with content providers for a new device, but there’s no word on how successful those talks were. Without content deals and Apple HDTV is nothing more than a smart TV with access to the iTunes library of content. That wouldn’t help Cook’s problem of feeling like he’s stepping back in time when watching TV.
The Steve Jobs biography also hinted that Jobs wanted to “fixing” TV before he died.
While Apple is theoretically working on an HDTV other companies are trying to reinvent TV through web services and set-top boxes. Services like Aereo let people watch network TV on their iPad or computer, even on a TV through AirPlay. New set-top boxes like the Boxee TV also let people watch network TV on their TV or on mobile device through cloud services.
Even Microsoft is getting in the game with TV and live streaming apps on the Xbox 360 and its secretive Cloud TV project.