Tim Cook won't say whether Apple Inc. is developing a television, but he dropped a big hint.
In an interview at a Goldman Sachs conference Tuesday, the Apple chief executive dodged a question about whether Apple might be thinking about entering the television business, saying he couldn't talk about future products and didn't want to "make any comment that people would misconstrue along those lines."
But then he went ahead and sort of made one anyway.
In speaking about Apple TV, the firm's set-top streaming movie player and one of its more minor products, Cook said:
"Apple doesn't do hobbies as a general rule. We believe in focus and only working on a few things. And so, with Apple TV, despite the barriers in that market, for those of us who use it, we've always thought that there was something there, and that if we kept following our intuition and kept pulling the string that we might find something that was larger."
Cook didn't say what that "something" was, but added that "for those people that have it right now, the customer 'sat' [satisfaction rating] is off the chart, but we need something more to go main market for it to become its own category."
Speculation about an Apple television (some are calling it the iTV) has ramped up lately, with plenty of observers guessing what it will look and behave like.
In the recent biography of Steve Jobs, the Apple co-founder tells author Walter Isaacson that he "cracked" the code for reinventing the television, but said little more about what that meant.
Apple itself has continued to remain mum about any such product, so Cook's comments represented the most the company has said (or left unsaid) about an Apple television.