Tim Cook Explains Why The Apple TV Is A Hobby (And Why The Rumored iTV Might Not Be One)

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At the Goldman Sachs keynote today, Tim Cook was asked a question about the Apple TV that was extremely revealing in regards to why Apple keeps calling it a “hobby device”… and why it might soon lead to the so-called Apple iTV.

Asked “What’s holding you back from entering traditional television market, and what keeps the Apple TV in the hobby stage?”, Cook was cagy about speculating about Apple’s “future plans for this market.”

He did however explain why Apple called it a hobby, though.

“The reason we call it a hobby is because we don’t want to send a message to shareholders that we think the market for it is the same as the iPhone, iPad, Mac, etc. We don’t want people to think the leg of that stool is the same as others,” explained Cook.

So if there’s not the market of the iPhone or iPad, why is Apple bothering with TV? Because Apple has a gut instinct that there’s something there.

“Apple doesn’t do hobbies as a general rule. We believe in focus, only working on a few things. With Apple TV, however, despite the barriers in that market, for those of us who use it, we’ve always thought there was something there and that if we kept following our intuition and pulling the string, we might find something that is larger.”

Cook finished his comments by making a possible reference to Apple’s rumored entry into the HDTV market with the so-called iTV.

“We need something special to make this a main market, to make TV a serious category for Apple,” he said.

With Steve Jobs saying he’d cracked the television problem just last year, could Apple already have an iTV in their labs that they think finally makes TV a serious pursuit for Cupertino?