Despite growing sales, Apple says TV is still a “hobby”

By , Jul 24, 2012

Earlier this afternoon, Apple hosted a conference call to discuss its performance over the past three months. You can replay the call here, or you can check out our roundup of the most interesting points.

Among those points, was the fact that Apple sold an impressive 1.3 million Apple TVs last quarter. That’s up more than 170% year-over-year, and pushes current-year Apple TV sales to over 4 million…

But despite the growth, CEO Tim Cook continues to call the Apple TV a hobby. Even listening to the call, you can tell it’s an afterthought, as the sales numbers weren’t mentioned until an analyst asked about them during the Q&A portion.

Here’s a transcript from the conversation between Pacific Crest Securities analyst Andy Hargreaves:

“Cook: It’s [Apple TV] still at a level that we would call it a hobby. But we continue to pull strings to see where it takes us. We’re not one to keep around projects that we don’t believe in. There’s a lot of people here that are believers in Apple TV, and we continue to invest in it and see where it will take us.

Hargreaves: So you don’t do hobbies for the sake of hobbies, you do it in hopes that it gets to be something bigger?

Cook: That’s right, we do it because we think it will lead us somewhere. And so, we’ll see.”

This type of chatter is certainly interesting given the amount of speculation we continue to hear that Apple is building its own HDTV set. It seems like the question is more ‘when’ at this point, than ‘if.’

But Apple has to be pleased with the current Apple TV. GeekWire notes that at 1.3 million, Apple’s set-top box sold better than the popular Xbox 360 console (1.1 million) last quarter. Not bad for a hobby.

What are your thoughts on Apple’s plans for the TV space?

  • Share:
  • Follow:
  • @dongiuj

    Really? I thought patent wars were its hobby.

  • Ken P

    It actually makes me mad that Apple keeps calling this a “hobby”. I’ve spent money buying three of their ‘hobbies’ so I would hope that they’d focus on it a bit more rather than calling it a hobby and sweeping it under the carpet.

    • http://twitter.com/ExWoW MiKey

      Apple already gave us a few generations of aTV’s, added 1080p support, more and more movies are available on iTunes, you can Airplay OSX and iOS to aTV and much more… don’t know what you call “sweeping it under the carpet” but thats not it^^ If they would call the iPhone a hobby I’d still buy it. Who cares.

      • http://twitter.com/Pitchy Pitchy

        I love my Apple TV, but I see the speed at which they move with it and it’s almost stagnant. For cord cutters, the Apple TV is WAY behind in terms of streaming content and because of that, my Roku takes center stage and the Apple TV is only used if we want to stream from our phones, mirror the iPad or play digital copy movie from iTunes.

        How hard is it for Apple to add Hulu? The app is available for iOS… and mirroring Hulu from the iPad looks like ass. Crackle, Nasa TV, Pandora etc… Roku is killing Apple in terms of content available. Why? Because Apple refuses to take the Apple TV seriously… that’s why they keep calling it a hobby and not treating it as an actual product.

    • Falk M.

      Guess why the aTV got so minimal functional upgrades so far! ;)
      That’s why I’m holding off with purchasing an aTV: the tv set it is for me! :)

  • http://twitter.com/oneBurge Burge

    I’ll like my hobby ..