Buried amid Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) i-centric fourth quarter earnings results--as in iPod, iPhone and iPad--was a mention of something that is becoming perhaps a little more than a "hobby" but less than a full-on assault for the Silicon Valley company.
Apple sold more Apple TVs in the last quarter of 2012 "than we've ever sold before" and has now sold more than 2 million of the products, Apple CEO Tim Cook said in response to an analyst's question when discussing fourth quarter earnings this week.
Sales were up "almost 60 percent year-on-year so there is actually very, very good growth for that product."
Cook's further comments suggested Apple TV--at best an on-again, mostly off-again prospect for the online video and pay TV market--has a place in the Apple pantheon of products.
"What was a small niche at one time of people that loved it is a much larger number that love it," Cook added. "I have said in the past this is an area of intense interest for us and it remains that and I tend to believe that there is a lot we can contribute in that space and so we continue to pull the string and see where it leads us."
And that was about it. The product is selling, the consumer interest is there and Apple hasn't abandoned it.
"But I don't want to be more specific," Cook concluded.
- see the earnings call transcript with Cook's comments
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Apple CEO Cook says TV is 'area of intense interest'