Is Apple Set to Take On TV?

Cook hints that company is in position to deliver new products

Tim Cook hinted today that Apple is well-positioned to take over the TV.

Speaking during an earnings call with Wall Street analysts, who asked what new product categories Apple would step into in 2014, Cook advised them to think about what the company already does well: hardware, software services and its app ecosystem.

No one else has a set of skills like these, Cook said, and Apple would use those unique skills to push into new product categories.

He didn’t name TV explicitly, but his description sounded like a recipe for the television of the future. It also would match the expertise needed for a smartwatch or even a gaming console.

"If you look at the skills Apple has, from hardware to software to services and an incredible app ecosystem, this set of things are very very unique," Cook said. "We obviously believe we can use our skills in building other great products that are in categories that represent areas that we do not participate today."

In the past weeks, analysts have renewed predictions that Apple would deliver a TV, expanding its product lineup beyond phones, tablets and computers for the first time since 2010.

An Apple TV would likely require the full scope of the company’s expertise in hardware, software and apps.

Cook has been touting Apple’s innovation roadmap that started this fall and goes through 2014. Already consumers have seen new iPhones, an iPad Air, new MacBooks and the next-generation Mac computer.

Apple announced its earnings from last quarter today, which signaled the end of its fiscal year.

“It’s going to be an iPad Christmas,” Cook told analysts, predicting strong sales of its latest iPad Air and iPad Mini.

Apple’s revenue rose last quarter to $37.5 billion, compared to $36 billion during the same quarter a year ago. However, profits were down to $7.5 billion, compared to $8.2 billion a year ago.

Sales of iPhones reached nearly 34 million, compared to 27 million in the year-ago quarter, and iPad sales were roughly flat at 14 million last quarter.