Evidence continues to mount that Apple’s TV business is becoming a serious affair, with CEO Tim Cook announcing at the Q2 earnings call that the company has sold 20 million boxes since 2007, the product’s debut year.
It’s not uncommon for Apple to dish out raw numbers for its thriving businesses, such as the iPhone, the iPad, or iTunes. But Apple TV has never been part of that mix before. Now, with the business slowly taking off, Tim Cook and his troops are confident to share some numbers. And they’re not modest about them either.
“When you look at the sales of the Apple TV box itself and the content bought off the Apple TV,” Cook said, “for 2013 that number was over $1 billion [€723 million]. It didn’t feel right to me to call something that’s making $1 billion a hobby.”
He revealed that Apple sold a total amount of 20 million units since the box made its debut in 2007, adding new features (both hardware and software) with every passing year. This year, the product got its own web page for the very first time, and rumor has it that Cupertino is planning another major refresh that includes a new interface, access to the App Store for games, and more.
The Apple CEO took a jab at Amazon and its newly-released TV box, the FireTV. He mentioned that Amazon had to pay $300 million / €217 million to get HBO on the thing.
With 800 million iTunes accounts (and rising), it’s hard not to see how Apple manages to rake in new adopters on a regular basis. Its entire product lineup is closed within the walls of its iTunes Stores for music, video, apps, and books, something that every competitor is struggling to achieve.
By designing the hardware and the software to work seamlessly together, Apple is constantly making new inroads in every market it feels is ripe for the picking. Perhaps not coincidentally, Tim Cook noted during the call that the company has always been careful not to launch an all-new something before it’s polished.
“We care about every detail and it takes us a bit longer to do that. That's always been the case,” he said. “It means more to us to get it right than to be first.”
Apparently, the 2010 “Antennagate” issue with the iPhone 4 and the Maps fiasco in 2012 were two life lessons Apple took very seriously.