Apple TV "an area of intense interest" teases Tim Cook

Apple CEO Tim Cook has dropped a heavy-handed hint about its plans for an Apple television, revealing that the TV segment is "an area of intense interest" for the company. "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 NBC News, though refused to comment any more specifically, saying "I can't say more than that."

Still, even a reference to television is enough to get the rumor mill enthused once again. The prospect of an Apple television has been a source of long-standing speculation, with much discussion over what the company could bring to the segment, and whether its notoriously low margins would be of sufficient interest to warrant a Cupertino model.

According to the most recent batch of chatter, Apple plans to use Siri - its digital personal assistant, that allows users to give natural language instructions to their iPhone or iPad – to retire the remote and reduce the amount of button confusion. However, that could equally be embedded into an Apple TV set-top box, which although less minimalist than an all-in-one Apple television, would be easier to achieve.

Apple has, in the past, referred to Apple TV as a "hobby", though that focus changed somewhat as sales increased. Still, the company is believed to be encountering push-back from content owners, reluctant to allow Apple to do to TV what it did to music with iTunes and the iPod.

It's been a day of openness from Cook, who earlier confirmed that Apple was investing $100m into kickstarting manufacturing in the US. One existing Mac line will be produced in the US, Cook said, though declined to specify which particular model it would be; however, it's worth noting that certain 2012 iMac units have been spotted with "Assembled in USA" branding.