We’d heard late last year that Apple might be planning to launch its long-awaited TV service in the first half of 2019, and none other than Apple CEO Tim Cook just poured some gasoline on that blaze — telling CNBC’s Mad Money host Jim Cramer in an exclusive interview that the company will announce new “services” this year.
While Cook didn’t say what kind of services — Cramer was asking whether Apple had any tricks up its services sleeve, including healthcare or mobile payments — it’s the long-awaited TV service that has recently seen all the pieces fall into place.
Here at CES 2019, there’s been a series of surprise announcements from TV manufacturers that are suddenly supporting Apple’s AirPlay 2 and HomeKit features to allow you to cast content directly from your iPhone, iPad and Mac — including TVs running rival operating systems from Google and Samsung. New TVs from rival Samsung will actually support iTunes, too, letting you access your movies and TV shows there as well.
It wouldn’t be a stretch to think Apple might be priming the pump with those hardware manufacturers for the upcoming TV service, too.
Then, there’s content: We reported last June how Apple has been spending over $1 billion on original TV content with no obvious place for users to watch it. Another report suggested that some of those original shows were slated to debut as soon as this March. And another still claimed that those shows might be free for people who own Apple devices.
But even if the TV service is one of the “services” Cook mentioned, it’s not clear what other services Apple might be talking about.
Cook also addressed reports that the iPhone XR might not be selling as well as expected, saying that it’s still been the most popular iPhone every day since launch, and that the Apple Watch and AirPods wearables business is bringing in more money than the iPod ever did — 50 percent more than iPod at peak sales. Admittedly, Apple’s a way bigger company now, and Apple Watches are priced as high or higher than the iPod ever was.