Tim Cook’s 70s TV Quote Sparks Apple iTV Rumours. Again.

Mike Wheatley

Rumours of an Apple-branded television, the so called iTV, have been doing the rounds since at least 2011, but to date nothing has come to fruition. Just this month another major event passed by without so much as a mention of the iTV, but that doesn’t mean fanbois should give up hope.

Apple television

This week, Apple CEO Tim Cook cranked up the rumour mill once again by revealing his company still has a “great interest” in TV, adding that “if we’re really honest, it’s still stuck back in the seventies.”

Cook’s comments came during an appearance on The Charlie Rose Show, and have reignited the belief that Apple intends to do something radical with its Apple TV.

Rose initially asked Cook about how the Apple TV set-top box was faring. The CEO was bullish on its prospects though he admitted it could still be improved. “There are lots of things we’d like to work on,” he admitted. “TV is one we continue to have great interest in.”

With his customary ruthlessness, Rose pounced on the opportunity to ask about the company’s plans for an iTV. His question caused Cook to grin, before collecting his thoughts for a moment.

“So I choose my words carefully here,” said Cook. “I don’t want to get into what were doing in the future. But we’ve taken steps with Apple TV. And Apple TV has over 20 million users. It has far exceeded the hobby label we placed on it. And we’ve added more content to it.”

Cook further explained that Apple was still working to improve the Apple TV experience, and that the project was still relevant to the company’s mission of building beautiful technology. Unfortunately he refused to elaborate on what these “improvements” might be, nor did he mention if the company was building an actual television.

Cook’s predecessor Steve Jobs made many similar comments like this about TV before, and indeed so has Cook himself in the past. Yet the timing of these comments could have some significance. Most industry watchers believe Apple is likely to hold one more major event before the end of the year when it will introduce a new and improved iPad.

The Cupertino consumer electronics giant sprung a mild surprise last week when it unveiled the Apple Watch alongside the new iPhone 6, so does that mean the next iPad launch will be accompanied by something else?