Apple TV no longer a hobby as hardware and content sales reach $1 billion

Apple TV Deal
Apple’s set-top box business may be a small in comparison to the iPad and iPhone, but it is still generating money for the company. According to Reuters, Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed during the company’s annual shareholder meeting that Apple TV hardware and content generated more than $1 billion in sales during FY 2013. The $1 billion amount was accrued during the company’s fiscal year 2013 which started September 29, 2012 and ended September 28, 2013.

Apple’s $99 set-top box streams content from iTunes, Netflix and other video sources to a connected HDTV. It was once called a hobby by both Steve Jobs and CEO Tim Cook, but the $1 billion in sales suggest interest in the platform is starting to grow.

“It’s a little more difficult to call it a hobby these days,” Cook told shareholders at the company’s headquarters in Cupertino.

Cook wouldn’t elaborate on the company’s plans for its set-top box, but earlier rumors suggest Apple’s next generation media device could be announced as soon as April with a launch in time for the holiday shopping season. The next generation device may be more than just a media-streaming device with support for apps, games and bluetooth gaming controllers. It may also connect to the iPhone and iPad, which could be used to interact with games on the HDTV-connected device.

Apple hasn’t refreshed its set-top box in a few years, but that doesn’t meant it’s been ignoring the platform. Rather than new hardware, the company has been releasing new content for its existing device at a steady pace. Just this year alone, Apple has added new channels from the WWE, ESPN, Red Bull TV and others.

Do you have an Apple TV? Are you happy with Apple’s current hardware? Let us know in the comments.