During Monday night's earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook dropped a major hint about what the company might be working on next.
Cook said that the world was on the edge of "major, major changes in media that are going to be really great for consumers" and that he expected Apple to be part of it.
That sounds as if Apple is preparing to enter the TV industry.
While Apple has a reputation for secrecy, the company can be surprisingly direct when talking publicly about future products.
Take the Apple Watch, for instance. In 2013, speaking at a technology conference, Cook was asked about Google Glass. He was largely dismissive of it but said: "I think the wrist is interesting. The wrist is natural."
Fast forward a year, and Apple is releasing the Apple Watch. Cook telegraphed what was coming.
Or look at Apple Pay. In April 2014, Cook told The Wall Street Journal:
I think it's a really interesting area. We have almost 800 million iTunes accounts and the majority of those have credit cards behind them. We already have people using Touch ID to buy things across our store, so it's an area of interest to us. And it's an area where nobody has figured it out yet. I realize that there are some companies playing in it, but you still have a wallet in your back pocket and I do too which probably means it hasn't been figured out just yet.
In September of that year, Apple announced Apple Pay.
Apple made waves in April when it announced that Apple TV users could buy a $15 subscription to HBO Now to get all of the network's content without needing a cable subscription.
When asked about that move on Apple's first-quarter earnings call, Cook hinted that there might be more to come.
Speaking about the company's recent partnership with HBO, he said: "We are marrying their great content, our great product and ecosystem. There is a lot of traction in there, where could it go? I don't want to speculate, but you can speculate."
He said the company was focused on giving customers something they wanted with Apple's "classic ease of use."
The introduction of HBO Now — as well as the increasing popularity of online TV subscription streaming services like Netflix, Sling TV, and Hulu Plus — spells bad news for traditional TV industry. It could be that Apple wants to throw itself further into the ring.
In March, The Journal reported that Apple was planning a web-based TV streaming service, which would launch in the fall but be tied to a new Apple TV that the company is believed to be announcing in June.
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