Apple considers a next-generation television set

It was in 2006 when Steve Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, announced Apple TV. It was clearly an experimental device that Jobs later described as “a hobby” for his company.

Now, according to a report in the “New York Times,” Apple’s “hobby” might be heading for a major overhaul. Apple is a notoriously secretive company and is tight-lipped, however the “Times” quoted several sources familiar with Apple’s TV-related activities that say the company is poised to introduce its first television set.

The sources said the new television design is based on Apple’s iOS operating system, which is on the iPhone 4, iPad and iPod Touch. The “Times” reported that Apple has hired several user interface and graphics designers who have a background in broadcasting.

If Apple does use the iOS software in a television set, it would allow owners to download applications like the Netflix app, which allows streaming movies and TV shows; ABC’s TV player; or Hulu’s latest video streaming application.

Sources told the newspaper that Apple executives are well aware that the battle for the living room is going to be arduous, and that the company must get it right this time.

In 2008, Jobs hinted at the future when discussing the merger of television and computers. “All of us have tried. We have, Microsoft, Amazon, TiVo, Netflix, Blockbuster. We’ve all tried to figure out how to get movies, over the Internet onto a widescreen TV, and you know what? We’ve all missed. No one has succeeded yet.”