Cook at D10: Apple TV sales doubling, but it’s still “an experiment”

Apple CEO Tim Cook addressed his company’s $99 set-top box at yesterday’s D10: Al Things Digital conference where he was an opening-night speaker. He reiterated his predecessor’s stance of Apple TV still being a hobby (he called it “an experiment” and confirmed the company sold 2.7 million units in this year so far…

On the Apple TV being “an experiment”:

You know, very uncharacteristic of us, we’ve stayed in the Apple TV product. We’re not a hobby kind of company as you know. Our tendency is to do very few things. And, if something creeps in and isn’t a big success, we get it out of the way and put our energies on something else.

Apple TV though, you see what we’ve done. We’ve stuck in this. It’s not a fifth leg of the stool. It’s not the same size as the phone or Mac or tablet business.

Tim said this of Apple TV sales:

But, last year, we sold 2.8 million Apple TV’s. This year, in the first 6 months, we’ve sold 2.7 million. We’ve almost equalled last year.

If the trend continues, Apple should easily sell twice as many Apple TVs by the year’s end compared to 2011. But make no mistake about it, content matters in this biz.

That was helped by 1080p and movies in the cloud. It’s a key part of the ecosystem. This is an area of intense interest for us. Many of us, the TV that we do watch, is almost exclusively on it. That’s what my TV watching is. All of my movies, everything is coming through Apple TV.

Here, some video highlights concerning Cook’s remark about the Apple TV.

And while it’s an experiment, the Apple TV could become something much bigger, Cook hinted

I love the product. But I think Apple TV is more something that you keep pulling the string to see where it goes.

Hm, sounds to me like he was thinking about a television set, no?