Apple CEO sees TV as area of ‘intense interest’

RANCHOS PALOS VERDES, Calif., Wed May 30, 2012 – Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook said technology for televisions was of “intense interest” but stressed the company’s efforts would unfold gradually amid speculation the iPad and iPhone maker was on the brink of unveiling a revolutionary iTV.

In one of his more revealing interviews since assuming the helm of the world’s most valuable company, Cook also said he hoped someday to see Apple products manufactured in the United States and outlined his approach to managing an organization long-associated with its late founder Steve Jobs.

“Another thing that Steve taught us all is to not to be focused on the past,” Cook told this year’s All Things Digital conference, an annual gathering of A-list technology and media executives in the upscale California coastal resort town of Rancho Palos Verdes.

Industry insiders and executives say Apple may unveil a TV-based device in late 2012 or 2013 that has the potential to shake up the cozy television content and distribution industry the way the iPod and iPhone disrupted music and mobile content, but Cook has steered clear of commenting on that issue directly.

“This is an area of intense interest for us,” Cook said, referring to Apple’s existing television set-top box product. “We’re going to keep pulling this string and see where it takes us.”

When asked specifically if Apple was making a television set, Cook said he was not going to answer that question.

Apple already sells a $99 set top box called Apple TV that streams Netflix and other content. Cook, who has previously said the Apple TV product had a hobby status inside the company, noted the company was sticking with it despite not being known as a “hobby kind of company.”