Apple’s CEO Publicly States He Wants a New TV Experience

And Apple’s engineers are probably going to make it for him, and us

In a planned interview with NBC’s Brian Williams airing tonight at 10pm/9c on “Rock Center,” Apple CEO Tim Cook dropped a bombshell seemingly confirming Apple’s plans to revolutionize the television industry.

The comments actually came at the end of the interview when Cook (presumably asked about his company’s plans in the TV space) said, “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.”

He confirmed for NBC’s anchor that “It's an area of intense interest,” adding “I can't say more than that.”

Speculation about Apple churning up a full-fledged TV set picked up steam right after Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography began hitting the shelves.

In the book, Jobs is quoted as saying that he’d “finally cracked” the secret to building a truly compelling television experience.

“It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine,” Jobs said, according to the biography.

Gene Munster, an analyst with investment bank Piper Jaffray, has been a longtime supporter of the iTV, issuing countless estimates on what the device would offer, when it would be released, etc.

The latest indications in this area are that Apple is still prototyping hardware, with no definitive timetable set for a potential launch.

The iPhone remains Apple’s strongest business pillar, whereas the company’s Apple TV set-top box remains a hobby, albeit a very important one, according to comments made by Cook himself in the presence of analysts and investors.

Apple isn’t faced as much with technical difficulties as it is trying to overcome hurdles imposed by cable operators and their desire to leave existing business models unchanged.

The Apple TV’s biggest problem has always been content distribution, analysts say, but it finally seems Tim Cook has convinced at least some big industry names.

Among them is Time Warner, whose CEO openly stated recently, “I hope they do [make a TV]. I think Apple is a great device company.”

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