Apple's Tim Cook strongly hints at TV product plans

Over the last year, we have reported on rumors and hints that Apple has been working on some kind of new television-related product. No, not a new version of its AppleTV set top box, but an actual TV set that will have some new and revolutionary features.

Today, as part of an interview that will be shown in full tonight on NBC's Rock Center with Brian Williams, Apple CEO Tim Cook gave yet another strong hint that the company is working on a television device. He said:

When I go into my living room and turn on the TV, I feel like I have gone backwards in time by 20 to 30 years ... It’s an area of intense interest. I can’t say more than that.

That's perhaps the biggest official announcement that Apple has got some kind of new TV product in the works. Cook also seems to suggest that it will have features that have never really appeared on TVs before.

However, we have already seen a number of so-called "Smart TVs" on the market in the past couple of years that have integrated WiFi and network features, along with web browsers, apps such as Netflix, and even games that are built into the TV. If Apple really wants to make a TV-related product, it has to be better than the current Smart TVs that are now on retail store shelves.

Source: NBC.com | Image via NBC News

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Here are some specs I think it will have:
- One HDMI input (with DVI adapter)
- WiFi
- No RCA/AV input
- No VGA input
- No USB input
- No buttons on TV itself
- No local storage
- Remote with less than 10 buttons

I know exactly where apple is going with it. The samsung 8000 series TV's are AMAZING, can control it with your hand cus it has a camera built in and can control it with your voice through the remote. the active 3D is stunning, thin silver bezel makes it seem like its a floating screen, picture quality is stunning etc although they do command a high price tag.. Lets see if apples product is anything like it cus i reckon it will be.

Airplay is apples attempt on DLNA which even cheap sets for like £500 have now and bluray players have to, can also choose to view stuff from USB, can pick an external HD or pick up a NAS to play files through the TV to.

What exactly is apple going to revolutionise in the TV space, sweet F A thats all.

I bet Tim Cook prolly got a 65" 75" 85" TV or a new 4K TV. I think theyll stick that siri crap on the TV to command it to do stuff, ripping off the kinect it obvious way yet the apple die hards will think its bin completely invented by apple. There so arrogant they wind me up.

Shadrack said,
I love my Apple TV 3 for its AirPlay support, but the interface sucks monkey balls.
Right there with you. AirPlay is really the only reason I bought my Apple TV

What planet is Cook living on? I remember TV 30 years ago. When I was a kid we didn't have a remote control... I was the remote control. We had 5 channels so it wasn't too bad.

Apple can't and won't win this if they decide to enter. TV's are a race to the bottom. Consumers won't pay a hefty premium for an Apple branded TV when they can get another brand for much cheaper. Just look at the Black Friday sales. Consumers go crazy for the $199 40" LCD and $120 32" LCDs. At regular prices ($250 for 32" and $400 for 40") sales remain stagnant. There's just too much competition.

Brandon said,
Apple can't and won't win this if they decide to enter. TV's are a race to the bottom. Consumers won't pay a hefty premium for an Apple branded TV when they can get another brand for much cheaper. Just look at the Black Friday sales. Consumers go crazy for the $199 40" LCD and $120 32" LCDs. At regular prices ($250 for 32" and $400 for 40") sales remain stagnant. There's just too much competition.

if apple sells 1 million apple branded TV's to their eliet followers they will still somehow profit... and have idiots lined up outside for them... and at version two will be lined up again for "slightly higher viewing angles, we now support a full 190 degrees! even though you cant see parallel to the side of the screen, I assure it you it's still there!"

neufuse said,

if apple sells 1 million apple branded TV's to their eliet followers they will still somehow profit... and have idiots lined up outside for them... and at version two will be lined up again for "slightly higher viewing angles, we now support a full 190 degrees! even though you cant see parallel to the side of the screen, I assure it you it's still there!"


"Elite followers?"

Some people just prefer some Apple products to other products. If Apple make the best TV, I will buy it. Just like the only reason I bought an iPhone is because I deem it the best phone currently available.

Calum said,

"Elite followers?"

Some people just prefer some Apple products to other products. If Apple make the best TV, I will buy it. Just like the only reason I bought an iPhone is because I deem it the best phone currently available.

I couldn't find a better way to put "Apple people that buy anything Apple makes regardless of what it is"

neufuse said,

I couldn't find a better way to put "Apple people that buy anything Apple makes regardless of what it is"


Oh, I see. I thought you might be referring to all Apple customers. Sorry

Brandon said,
Apple can't and won't win this if they decide to enter. TV's are a race to the bottom. Consumers won't pay a hefty premium for an Apple branded TV when they can get another brand for much cheaper. Just look at the Black Friday sales. Consumers go crazy for the $199 40" LCD and $120 32" LCDs. At regular prices ($250 for 32" and $400 for 40") sales remain stagnant. There's just too much competition.

This.

In Japan TV makers are all suffering. I am stunned at how low the prices have become lately - I could get a 55 inch now for the price I paid for my crappy 32 inch of a few years ago. Many people have already switched to HD and won't be in the market for a new TV for a few more years. Good luck to Apple trying to sell a TV for more than double the price of their competitors. A TV is not something that misguided hipsters can walk around with to show others that they part of the it crowd...

Apparently watching video is going back in time... maybe we have to have all 100% interactive video with ad's everywhere watching what you do to change the movies? right?...... common... when I watch TV I just want to watch a video stream... not do anything else... make a better guide then we will talk

ThreadAbort said,
Netflix has already revolutionized TV at my home.

I don't have cable anymore. Just internet!


Really? Does Netflix provide that vast an array of TV shows in your country, to the point it includes all of the shows you're interested in? Do you watch many shows?

The only revolution in TVs is when we don't have to deal with cable and satellite providers for their catalogue of channels.

If Apple, Microsoft or anyone else can provide a TV platform that allows us to get channel apps direct from the makers instead of being handed 200 crap channels in a package so we get the premium channels then that is a revolution. The other aspect is on demand, any time viewing along with it. Until then TV is going nowhere.

All that in a nice box. Sold.

WooHoo!!! said,
The only revolution in TVs is when we don't have to deal with cable and satellite providers for their catalogue of channels.

If Apple, Microsoft or anyone else can provide a TV platform that allows us to get channel apps direct from the makers instead of being handed 200 crap channels in a package so we get the premium channels then that is a revolution. The other aspect is on demand, any time viewing along with it. Until then TV is going nowhere.

All that in a nice box. Sold.


This. And the arguments otherwise make no sense: "We have to bundle some of the other channels that are less popular, or there isn't enough money to keep them running". Well, if nobody wants them, they shouldn't BE running. Duh?

WooHoo!!! said,
The only revolution in TVs is when we don't have to deal with cable and satellite providers for their catalogue of channels.
Replacing the satellite/cable providers with an overpriced Apple subscription doesn't really make things better. My guess is Apple is trying to offer ala carte channels (pay only for the channels you want). Otherwise they have no significant differentiator aside from a slick interface. Sure they'll get some Apple fanbois to buy the slick UI but that alone won't be enough to make it wildly popular. They need to give us consumers much more control of the content we buy.

this is going to be a really hard sell. TVs are appliances that iterate too fast and where good enough at the right price trumps apple's high spec high marging game. on top of that, people won't just buy a TV every year like they do ipads.

Apple has totally lost its way.

Now the way it would appear is that Tim isn't saying they invented TV, but are going to "Reinvent" the TV. Whatever.

Quote: "If Apple really wants to make a TV-related product, it has to be better than the current Smart TVs that are now on retail store shelves."

No, he just has to take what already exists and release it in a more polished form, with a fruit logo on the back. That's what Apple has done with the phone, tablet and MP3 player so far, and it makes perfect sense that they would go after the TV in the same way. When they do, you'd be a fool to bet against it being a huge success...

He's an idiot. "Going backwards 20-30 years." Give me a break. I guess 1080p LED HDTV's existed 20 years ago. Same with 4k, right?

Brandon said,
He's an idiot. "Going backwards 20-30 years." Give me a break. I guess 1080p LED HDTV's existed 20 years ago. Same with 4k, right?

Well I doubt he owns anything non-Apple, so yeah.

Brandon said,
He's an idiot. "Going backwards 20-30 years." Give me a break. I guess 1080p LED HDTV's existed 20 years ago. Same with 4k, right?

I doubt he's actually talking about the TV itself hardware wise, but the experience of using it with all the various cable boxes, guides, etc... I know every time I use my TV, I curse the Motorola boxes that Verizon FiOS uses.

Brandon said,
He's an idiot. "Going backwards 20-30 years." Give me a break. I guess 1080p LED HDTV's existed 20 years ago. Same with 4k, right?

I can tell this is a comment from heavy PC user.

He's obviously not talking about the hardware here, but the poor user experience. TV's have offered the same user experience for 20 years, easily. We're still happy with the cable TV concept, subscriptions, packages of channels where you only actually want a third of them but paying for more, and so on.

Nowhere elsewhere in the digital world would we accept this in a new product launched today. "Here's this app, but you can only purchase channel packages, and each channel has a list of programs that we choose for you." The response to that in an app review would be: WTF and 1 of 5 stars.

We aren't very frustrated though, because we haven't realized what we're missing. Much like how we thought about mobile phones before we had smartphones.

Changing this is very hard though. It's an old business, ancient in digital terms. As hard as, if not harder than, launching iTunes with all the record company deals that required. This is also why Apple is struggling, despite all their cash. Throwing cash reserves at this problem won't help; only changing broadcast company mindsets will.

I hope they will succeed, because this will be better for everyone, not just Apple users, in the long term. Once this barrier is breached, competition _will_ happen. And it will be glorious.

Brandon said,
He's an idiot. "Going backwards 20-30 years." Give me a break. I guess 1080p LED HDTV's existed 20 years ago. Same with 4k, right?

As stated by others, he is clearly talking about the user experience / interface (how the content is delivered, how you interact with the TV, etc.)

The only "smart" TV is one that will let me watch content without a cable subscription. Considering Apple is still working on a radio deal, I don't see that happening in the near future.

I bet it's gonna be like the thunderbolt display but thinner, bigger, glossier and just oh so sexy with that response timing.

ahhell said,
Glossier? Why would anyone want a TV that is more reflective?
Even current Plasmas are a PITA.

I'm sure the way the Thunderbolt Display and the new iMac is (with antiglare) makes it a perfect example of what I'mr really saying.

Mr.XXIV said,
I bet it's gonna be like the thunderbolt display but thinner, bigger, glossier and just oh so sexy with that response timing.

and with a price of $5000

still1 said,

and with a price of $5000

The majority of the TV's that are highly priced out there have naked pixels in your vision, if Apple can really pull off incredibly sharp and vivid color ; especially amazing sync with HDMI on consoles, then I'd be super impressed.