Apple TV graduates from hobby/accessory to product line ahead of major changes

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Apple appears to be putting its ducks in a row ahead of major Apple TV changes. Alongside last night’s changes to the Apple Online Store to promote Valentine’s Day specials, Apple added an entire Apple TV section.

The Apple TV is now promoted as a full product line alongside Macs, iPads, iPods, and iPhones. Previously, the Apple TV did not have its own section, and it was simply tucked away as an accessory in the dwindling iPod department.

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Not only does the Apple TV now have its own section, but it now has promoted and dedicated accessory, AppleCare, refurbished, and community question/answer sections.

Of course, the timing of the Apple TV’s “graduation” is interesting. Last week, we reported that Apple is working on a new version of the Apple TV set-top-box that will integrate new content (such as apps).

If Apple were to launch such a product in the near-future, it would make sense for it to have a dedicated, unhidden spot on Apple’s online store. And, based on what we’re hearing, the new Apple TV will certainly deserve to be called more than a “hobby.”

And we have some more information on why…

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Apple’s Tim Cook takes TV project from hobby to ‘intense area of interest,’ says the industry is 20- to 30 years behind

Tim Cook NBC interviewApple CEO Tim Cook’s much hyped NBC interview is set to air tonight at 10 p.m. EST, but we are already learning much of what will be discussed during the conversation that took place in, among other places, Apple’s Grand Central retail store location in New York. Earlier today, a profile from Bloomberg revealed Cook’s plans to bring at least some production of the Mac back to the United States in 2013, but he also hinted that the company has big plans for a next-generation Apple TV product. According to a preview of the interview on NBC’s website, Cook referred to the project as an “intense area of interest”—opposed to the “hobby” that the company has considered the product since its inception:

“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 told Williams. “It’s an area of intense interest. I can’t say more than that.”