Last night, Apple’s Eddy Cue (and Jimmy Iovine) joined Recode’s Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher on stage at the Code Conference to discuss a wide range of topics. The focus was obviously on the recently announced Beats acquisition, but as you can imagine, other interesting stuff came up as well.
One of the more noteworthy bits came after Cue was questioned on the long-rumored Apple TV update. Mossberg said it’s clear Apple has been wanting to do a big TV project for a long time, and Tim Cook has even alluded to it on a few occasions, but we haven’t seen anything yet. Here’s Cue’s response…
From The Verge’s live blog of the event:
Cue: “The TV experience sucks. All we have today is glorified VCRs. You still have to manage storage, you have to remember if you recorded something. It’s not the way your experience is with Apple TV.”
Cue says most Americans watch TV for six hours a day — it’s what Americans do instead of innovating.
He praises Comcast CEO Brian Roberts. “Brian is doing the best.” Comcast is the best, you guys.
Cue is rehearsing the many reasons television hasn’t been unbundled and made awesome yet. “It’s a complicated landscape.”
He says he won’t talk about what Apple is or is not doing, but at the same time, he confirms that Apple is talking with the various players, presumably in hopes of untangling the whole mess.
Mossberg: So are you just coasting with Apple TV?
Cue: “Apple TV is going to continue to evolve. I love it. I use it every day.” Cue is a Comcast subscriber and watches HBO Go on his Apple TV.”
Obviously, Cue didn’t offer up any details on Apple’s future plans for television, but you do get the sense that it’s working on something big for the space. Also interesting is that he praises Comcast’s service, as it’s been rumored multiple times that the two companies are collaborating on a major TV project.
Apple has long been rumored to move further into the living room. Initial speculation claimed that the company was working on a full-blown TV set, but more recent reports say it’s decided to stick to set-top boxes. It’s believed that it’s preparing to launch a new, more capable version of its Apple TV this year.
Cue says that the current Apple TV, which was last updated in the spring of 2012, has sold over 20 million units since its introduction, and helped generate over $1 billion in revenue last year. Tim Cook said at Apple’s shareholders meeting in February that it’s getting more difficult to call the device ‘a hobby.’