Fresh off his bravura performance at the Flint Center in Cupertino where he unveiled the new iPhone 6, a smart watch, and a proprietary payment system, Apple chief Tim Cook blasted the current state of television … while appearing on non-network TV.
“TV is one of those things that, if we’re really honest, is stuck back in the 70s. Think about how much your life has changed. And all the things around you that have changed,” Cook told interviewer Charlie Rose over the weekend in a far ranging interview, a rarity for Cook.
“And yet TV — when you are in your living room to watch the TV or wherever you might be — it almost feels like you’re rewinding the clock, and you’ve entered a time capsule, and you’re going backwards,” Cook said.
“The interface is terrible. I mean it’s awful. And you watch things when they come on, unless you remembered to record them,” Cook said.
Which brings us to the topic of Apple TV, which wasn’t heavily referenced during Cook’s keynote at the Flint Center six days ago.
But during the interview with Rose, Cook delved ever so slightly into the topic of Apple TV, which was first released as the iTV in 2006. Apple TV, which consists of a microconsole and a digital media player, is now on its third generation, the latest of which was released in 2012.
During his interview with Rose, Cook was bullish on Apple TV and said he was still interested in making it better. And that despite the colossal success of one of the most beloved tech giants going, Apple too had its limitations.
“There are lots of things we’d like to work on and have interest in, but we know we can’t do everything great. TV is one we continue to have great interest in,” Cook said.
With a slight pause, Rose pounced.
What about Apple TV, Rose asked. That elicited a wide grin from Cook, who took a moment to collect his thoughts on the issue.
“Ahhhh…..So I choose my words carefully here,” Cook said.
Rose then asked Cook point blank: “Why don’t you fix it?”
“Well,” Cook said, “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 told Rose, possibly the best interviewer in the history of American broadcasting, that Apple was working to raise the bar with Apple TV, and that it was still relevant to Apple’s mission of building beautiful technology.
“So there’s increasingly more things you can do there. And this is an area we continue to look at.”
Cook declined to elaborate more, in keeping with the secrecy surrounding anything the company does. As for the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus, Cook need not worry. Just this morning, the company announced 4 million pre-orders for the new smartphone line less than 24 hours after they went on sale.
Cook pointed out that Apple’s innovation will continue. Apple will also focus is building what they do best: hardware that works.
“The hardest decisions we make are all the things not to work on, frankly,” Cook said.