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Cook hints at Apple HDTV, talks $100M for US Mac production

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.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. gooser

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: 06-23-06

    wow.

  1. djbeta

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 01-11-04

    Good for Apple. They just went way up in my book.

  1. c4rlob

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 05-21-09

    It's interesting Cook chose not to mention their existing Apple TV product in his "backwards in time" comment. When he turns on the TV, is the current Apple TV not part of his experience? This comment, and that omission, is drenched in their classic tone prior to disrupting an entire industry/market. Now whether that tone is a deliberate signal or deliberately an empty tease will speak volumes about Cook's leadership philosophy.

  1. DiabloConQueso

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-11-08

    Originally Posted by c4rlobView Post

    It's interesting Cook chose not to mention their existing Apple TV product in his "backwards in time" comment. When he turns on the TV, is the current Apple TV not part of his experience?



    Note that he says "when I turn on the TV. Sure, hooking up an AppleTV will deliver content not readily available or easily accessible through other means, but perhaps he's talking about the TV itself, not about peripherals that hook up to the TV to provide a more expanded user experience.

    I have to agree with Tim here -- despite having a decent interface on my AppleTV, I still have to navigate my TV's menuing system in order to change inputs. In other words, my AppleTV does nothing for the actual experience I have trying to mess with my TV. I'm still bound to my TV remote (volume, inputs, on/off, etc.) and the TV's menuing system (haven't seen one worth a crap yet), albeit a bit less now than before.

  1. Inkling

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 07-25-06

    It would be a disaster for the country if Apple's bold effort to bring consumer electronics manufacturing back home bombed. And bomb it will, if Apple locates that $100 million factory in one of our business-hostile states, including California.

    One good choice would his birthplace, Alabama, and perhaps even where he grew up in Mobile. The Gulf Coast climate is marvelous, as he knows. The beaches are great.

    Other options include Auburn, where he studied industrial engineering and I studied electrical engineering. It's already attracting high-tech manufacturing, including Germany's The WÜRZ-Group and a SiO2 Medical Products factory.

    Huntsville is another good option. With NASA, Boeing and Redstone Arsenal, it's been high tech for generations and has excellent schools as well as recreation. It also has a runway that can handle fully-loaded freight 747s. Transport like that is probably a key part of Apple's manufacturing plans.

  1. DiabloConQueso

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-11-08

    Originally Posted by InklingView Post

    It would be a disaster for the country if Apple's bold effort to bring consumer electronics manufacturing back home bombed. And bomb it will, if Apple locates that $100 million factory in one of our business-hostile states, including California.



    You might want to shoot off an email to Tim Cook and tell him that, just in case he doesn't know.

  1. mac_in_tosh

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 12-14-11

    The main issue I have is not the technology but the content. More and more channels at higher and higher resolution but the programming/movies etc. are mostly not worth watching.

  1. gooser

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: 06-23-06

    Originally Posted by mac_in_toshView Post

    The main issue I have is not the technology but the content. More and more channels at higher and higher resolution but the programming/movies etc. are mostly not worth watching.




    didn't senator bulworth say the same thing?

  1. JackWebb

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 08-31-07

    Originally Posted by DiabloConQuesoView Post


    You might want to shoot off an email to Tim Cook and tell him that, just in case he doesn't know.


    Even businesses make mistakes when they can't see past their ideology. So far I'm willing to trust Cook with what I've seen so far. They are smart enough to hold bank accounts overseas out of the reach of U.S. taxes. I know I'd personally never operate a business in CA. But perhaps besides the clear fact that CA is worse than TX and AL, etc. there might be somethings I don't know that are advantages. I'll be watching this.

  1. JackWebb

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 08-31-07

    Originally Posted by mac_in_toshView Post

    The main issue I have is not the technology but the content. More and more channels at higher and higher resolution but the programming/movies etc. are mostly not worth watching.



    You are not alone in this view. It's probably the main reason I don't have an HD TV even though they are cheap.

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 01-25-07

    Oh, you kids. Stop with the silly tax and union rhetoric already, will ya?
    It would seem there are many corporate headquarter locations that would put the lie to your assertions.

    Corporations freeload everywhere. Are you for that? Honestly?

  1. chas_m

    MacNN Staff

    Joined: 08-04-01

    Two comments, one for inkling and one for jackwebb.

    1. Inkling: if California is that business-hostile, why hasn't their economy collapsed? Why is it home to MOST of the big tech companies in the US, including the most highly-valued company in the world -- Apple? Why does it have the 9th highest per capita income (over $61K) in the US? Why are there more millionaires in CA than in any other of the 50 states? Oh, and btw: California is NOT the state with the highest business taxes -- that would be New York (yeah, and nobody runs a business in NY, either I suppose ...)

    Again, your "facts" and reality seem to be at odds. I'm not saying California is paradise, but there are a lot of household name brands -- particularly in tech, media, wine and agriculture -- that appear to disagree with you. PS. For the record, I love Huntsville AL and I agree that it would be possible for Apple to put manufacturing plants in other states. I'm just saying CA ain't the hell-hole you're making it out to be -- you appear to have confused it with New Jersey. :)

    2. jackwebb: this may be hard to believe, but there is more to choosing where to put a business than JUST the local tax rate. Just to name a few examples: climate, access to ports, quality of education in the state, arts and culture, quality of the talent pool, infrastructure, etc. If tax rates were all a business looked at, every US business that couldn't leave and go to Mexico would be located in Alaska. Can you name ANY major household-name industries that are HQ'd in Alaska?

  1. lpkmckenna

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: 07-04-04

    Discussing tax rates is irrelevant. Apple will set up their plant in whatever state that gives them tax-free status, just like their data server plant in North Carolina.

  1. blahblahbber

    Banned

    Joined: 02-01-05

    Idaho seems like a nice place. There are know for using mostly green energy, and has a real potential. Wiki it. I am not making any references to taxes here either.

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