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Apple CEO hints at ‘bigger TV plans’

Apple’s introduction of the latest version of Apple TV and its tvOS software last October mark “the foundation” for bigger plans in this space, according to CEO Tim Cook.

Speaking on Apple’s fiscal third quarter earnings call, Cook (pictured) made reference to a TV-related release “this fall” and said the company is “building the foundation for what we believe can be a broader business over time”.

“I don’t want to be more precise than that, but you shouldn’t look at what’s there today and think we’ve done what we want to do. We’ve built a foundation that we can do something bigger off of,” said Cook.

The comments were in response to a question about whether Apple is interested in “driving actual video-on-demand services” or planning to “build content” as a business opportunity.

They also came on the same day that Apple Music acquired the rights to make a spin-off of Carpool Karaoke, a segment of CBS’s The Late Late Show with James Corden that has proved a viral hit on YouTube.

Speculation has circled for years about Apple’s plans in the TV space, with the firm reportedly suspending plans last year to launch a live, over-the-top TV service after struggling to agree terms with media partners.

Last October, Cook told delegates at the WSJDLive Conference in Califronia that traditional TV viewing as a “terrible, broken process that none of us like” and said that “TV should be interactive”.

A month earlier Apple unveiled its latest generation of Apple TV. The revamped streaming box runs on the tvOS operating system, which is based on Apple’s iOS and allows iOS developers to create new apps and games specifically for Apple TV.

For the three months ending June 25, 2016, Apple posted quarterly revenue of US$42.4 billion and quarterly net income of US$7.8 billion. This compares to revenue of US$49.6 billion and net income of US$10.7 billion, in the year-ago quarter, but reflected “stronger customer demand and business performance than we anticipated at the start of the quarter”, according to Cook.