Apple dished out a set of impressive statistics at its quarterly conference call Tuesday, clinching with a pleasant surprise - the Apple TV made $1 billion in sales of units and content since it debuted in 2007, with Apple doing pretty much nothing to boost sales in that department.
Towards the end of Apple's second-quarter shareholder meeting, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that the company hit the 20 million-mark in its Apple TV set-top box sales at the end of 2013. By 2012, Apple had shipped around 13 million units in total of what used to be its "hobby."
"It didn't feel right to me to call something that's over a billion a 'hobby'," said (video) Cook.
Cook declined to comment directly when asked about Amazon's recently announced partnership with HBO Go to bring re-runs and earlier seasons of ongoing programs. He did, however, drop hints that the content on Apple TV is "extremely favorable" in comparison to Amazon's "older content." He also noted that HBO Go already has an iOS app for the Apple TV, while the app is still slated to come to Amazon's Fire TV at a later date.
Apple's chief executive is "feeling quite good about that business and where it could go," sparking off speculations that "where it could go" refers to what many are hoping would be the much-awaited Apple iTV.
By the end of 2012, Apple fans were feasting on rumors and analyst expectations after Cook hinted at a possible Apple iTV on NBC.
"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 interest. I can't say more than that," he told NBC News.
Masahiko Ishino, an analyst at the Tokyo-based Advanced Research Japan Co., believes that Apple will release 55- and 65-inch TV screens by the end of 2014. Apple, however, declined to comment on Ishino's predictions.
Comcast, however, thinks an Apple iTV is still far off and says that Apple is focused on improving its Apple TV. In a letter addressed to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Comcast defended its pending merger with Time Warner Cable as a means of protection against competition from Apple and other major Internet companies foraying into online TV.
"Apple tablets are viewing platforms for cable services even while Apple offers an online video service, Apple TV, and explores development of an Apple set-top box," Comcast writes in its letter to the FCC acquired by TechRadar.