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CEO: Apple TV Not a 'Hobby' Anymore

3 Mar, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel

While the late Steve Jobs referred to Apple TV as a hobby, new CEO Tim Cook says the company is putting greater focus on the business

Apple’s complicated history with over-the-top video and Apple TV, the latter the streaming-set-top device the late Steve Jobs infamously referred to as a hobby, apparently is getting the full monty going forward, according to CEO Tim Cook.

Speaking Feb. 28 at Apple’s annual shareholder meeting, Cook said the Cupertino, Calif.-based tech company sold $1 billion worth of the $99 Apple TV devices in 2013.

While industry scuttlebutt has suggested Apple would enter the smart-TV business, sales data indicates consumers like Apple TV as much — if not more — than Roku, TiVo or other set-top streaming devices.

Apple's iTunes has long been the industry leader in electronic sellthrough of movies and TV shows, with Apple TV acting as a complementary link to the living room TV. With $160 billion in cash and no debt, Apple has the resources to up Apple TV’s profile, cloud-based ecosystem and functionality.

Indeed, through March 5, Apple is including a free $25 iTunes gift card with the purchase of an Apple TV device.

"It's a little more difficult to call it a hobby these days," Cook told shareholders without elaborating.

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