updated 09:22 am EST, Thu December 6, 2012
One Mac line to be US-exclusive in 2013
In a new interview, airing tonight at 10 Eastern, Apple CEO Tim Cook has strongly hinted at the prospect of an Apple-branded TV set. During the piece, NBC's Brian Williams asks Cook what's next for Apple. "When I go into my living room and turn on the TV, I feel like I have gone backwards in time by 20 to 30 years," Cook comments. "It's an area of intense interest. I can't say more than that."
While Cook has hinted at the prospect of a TV before, the quote may be the most explicit confirmation of the company's plans so far. Rumors about them began gathering steam late last year with the publishing of Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs biography; in the book, Jobs claimed that he had "cracked" the idea of a TV with "the simplest user interface you could imagine." Few details have emerged since then, aside from rumors of talks with cable and content providers, and a USA Today report that Apple designer Jonathan Ive had a prototype TV in his design studio. The paper said sets would measure 42 inches or larger.
In the NBC interview, Cook also confirms that one of the company's existing Mac lines will be manufactured entirely in the US starting next year. He elaborates in a new Business Week profile. "Next year we are going to bring some production to the US on the Mac. We’ve been working on this for a long time, and we were getting closer to it. It will happen in 2013. We’re really proud of it. We could have quickly maybe done just assembly, but it’s broader because we wanted to do something more substantial. So we’ll literally invest over $100 million. This doesn’t mean that Apple will do it ourselves, but we’ll be working with people, and we’ll be investing our money."
The Mac line in question may almost certainly be the iMac, since "Assembled in USA" models are already appearing on people's doorsteps. It's thought that the manufacturing may be taking place in Fremont, California, where Apple computers first started mass production.