Apple today announced its earnings for the first quarter of 2019 (thanks, screwy business calendars!), pretty much in line with what it said folks could expect. It sold a bunch of iPhones — just not as many as it has in previous first quarters. It made a metric butt-ton of money — just not quite as much as it has previously.
Apple is not doomed.
But what Apple also didn't do on Tuesday was spill the beans on the upcoming streaming service that it hasn't actually announced yet.
That didn't stop CEO from making a little news, though. From iMore's excellent transcript of the earnings call:
... we think that it will accelerate as the year goes by to sort of the breakdown of the cable bundle that's been talked about for years, and I think that it will likely take place at a much faster pace this year.
That was in response to a question from Shannon Cross of Cross Research, who noted the deals for original content that Apple has made, in addition to AirPlay 2 being announced a bunch of televisions.
Cook didn't really tell us anything we didn't already know, however.
We will participate in the original content world. We have signed a multi-year partnership with Oprah. But today I'm not really ready to extend that conversation beyond that point. We've hired some great people that I have super amount of confidence in and they're working really hard and we'll have something to say more on that later.
The Oprah deal was announced last summer. Everybody knows Apple's making original content. And it's sewing the seeds for being able to distribute that original content on things other than Apple TV. (Whether it'll open up iTunes content to other devices remains to be seen, though having access to AirPlay 2 is at least a not-inelegant workaround.)
What we still don't know is when. And how much. And whether said original content will actually be worth watching. Most of us don't have good appreciation for exactly how many duds there are on Amazon Prime Video and Netflix and Hulu. For every hit there are (easily) a dozen misses. It's an expensive game, and Apple's got the cash to buy a seat at the table.
The biggest question is whether its cards are going to be any good.
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