Just when we thought the rumours of Apple making a television has finally been laid to rest, company executive Eddy Cue believes TV needs to be "reinvented".
Head of Apple's internet software and sales division, Cue also leads the company's television efforts with the Apple TV set-top box. His comments come after years of speculation and rumours that Apple was planning to produce a television; with regard to how the system would work, the late Steve Jobs said he had "cracked it" shortly before his death in 2011.
During an interview at Vanity Fair's annual New Establishment Summit, Cue said: "I do think television needs to be reinvented. Today, you live with a glorified VCR. The problem is the interface," reports Business Insider.
Echoing thoughts held by Jobs, Cue added: "It's really hard to use [a cable or satellite TV service]. Setting something to record, if you didn't watch something last night, if you didn't set it to record, it's hard to find, it may not be available. There may be some rights issues."
Cue sees a future where viewers decide what they want to watch and the TV service finds it for them. Instead of searching through channels and subscribing to the right service or package, the content is just there on an a-la-carte basis. "It's great to be able to tell you device 'I want to watch the Duke basketball game, I don't care what channel it's on'... Today you got to bring in the TV, go through the guide, find which sports programmes or whatever – it's just hard to do."
The senior vice president added: "The problem is the interface. The ways you interact with it are pretty brain dead."
Apple has been in discussions with TV content producers since at least 2009, but has struggled to come to an agreement with enough of them to make a service worthwhile to consumers. The company sees a future where every programme, series and sports fixture is available to everyone through a single user interface, but complex rights agreements currently make this impossible.
But Cue sees the situation gradually improving every year as rights holders become less protective over their content. "It's moving rapidly... Look, it's going to get better every year."
Rumours that Apple is building its own television have all but disappeared, but only after the well-known analyst Gene Munster claimed the new product was happening in 2011, early 2012, late 2012, twice in 2013 and again in 2014.
The Apple TV set-top box was being sold (and improved upon) throughout this time, but the mythical television never arrived. In 2015 Munster finally accepted defeat, saying: "It's hard to accept the reality of no Apple television."