Lost in the shuffle of Apple's record breaking earnings last quarter, and the hoopla over the potential for an Apple v. Palm courtroom showdown, is the fact that Apple's beloved hobby, the Apple TV, is still chugging along and ratcheting up impressive sales. Apple's earnings report shows that sales of Apple TV are up three-fold from the same quarter a year-ago, and Tim Cook's comments during the conference call indicate that not only has Apple not given up on this 'hobby', but that it plans to keep on investing in it.
"We still consider this a hobby, but it is clear that the movie rental business has really helped Apple TV, and there are more and more customers that want to try it. We will continue to invest there because wefundamentally believe there is something there for us in the future."
As more and more people use their computers to watch TV content, an updated Apple TV would make a huge splash if was better equipped to stream content from other content providers such as Hulu. At the same time, Apple wants users to download content via iTunes, not stream it for free from another company. That said, if customers are already flocking to sites like Hulu to catch up on episodes of LOST and Prison Break for free, wouldn't it make sense for Apple to allow customers to do that via the Apple TV? While content is still king, iTunes is a good example of how the conduit for delivering that content can be just as important.
Lastly, Cook noted that the "movie rental business really helped Apple TV", and with that in mind, Apple will hopefully beef up its severely thin library of movie titles in the iTunes Store sometime soon!
This story, "Apple TV Sales Triple" was originally published by Network World.