During these interviews he talked about the Apple Television, and although he was typically reticent about specific details there is a lot to be gained from close inspection of his words.
NBC's Josh Tyrangiel put the following question to Tim Cook: "I’m not going to ask you about an Apple TV, because I know you’re not going to say if it exists or when it’s coming. But what I do want to know is—there must be enormous pressure, both on you and on your teams, to continue to create breakthroughs. How does that affect you?"
See also: Watch Tim Cook's NBC Interview in the UK
Here we've put together some facts and asides that we can garner from what Tim Cook had to say, and how that relates to development of the Apple Television.
Fact 1: Apple wants to make a television
"There’s more pressure that comes from within than from the outside."
What we can gleam from this is that the pressure to make new products, including the Apple Television, is coming from the Apple design team. Apple is a confident company at the top of its game, Television is a big technology take-over. They must want to do it.
Fact 2: The Apple design team is currently focussed on television
"It's a market that we have intense interest in."
Several people, including ourselves, have noted that the Apple Television has gone from being referred to as the "hobby" to "an area of intense interest". When Apple takes intense interest in something you can be sure they're not talking metaphorically. There are design teams on this right now.
Fact 3: Apple sees television as failing, sure sign that it's coming
"And it's a market that we see that has been left behind."
When Steve Jobs talked to Walter Isaacson about making the iPhone he said, tellingly "We would sit around talking about how much we hated our phones." Apple bad-mouthing something is a sure sign that it's getting ready to do something about it on a personal level. Apple disrupts markets for a living, and it typically disrupts those it thinks are being left behind. If Apple engineers and designers are sitting around bitching about how much they hate their television sets, you can be that they're coming up with ideas to change that situation.
Fact 4: The Apple Television will be worth the wait
"Our customers have an incredibly high bar for us. We have an even higher bar for ourselves. So we want to do great work"
It goes without saying that Tim Cook will think of Apple products as good. But if he thinks the Apple Television will be "great work" rather than the "hobby" you can be sure that something new and different is happening. Just why it'll be better than current television sets is debatable, but Cook clearly thinks it will be.
Fact 5: Work on the Apple Television is ongoing
"People are always talking about what we may do next and when it might happen, but honestly we’re driven much more internally by great people who want to do great work. "
There's a lot of future tense gong on here, centred around the design process. Much speculation about the Apple Television has centred on Apple's inability to get content providers (especially cable services) on board. But that might not be the case. Tim Cook seems to be suggesting here that when it happens it's because its happened internally, by people who want to do great work. It may simply not be ready yet.