Apple's SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue recently spoke about the developer interest levels in the new Apple TV, as well as his thoughts on what will do best on the platform. With more than 2,000 apps already live in the store, Cue says that things are also going great on the customer side as about 50% of the sales are existing Apple TV owners upgrading to new hardware. While many would believe that people are using it primarily for streaming, Cue says that it's being used for much more.
"What we're seeing with the new Apple TV is to me very similar to what happened with gaming on the iPhone. When we first announced the iPhone, we didn't tout it as a gaming device. But games became a huge part of iPhone, because it turns out that a lot more people than just hardcore gamers love games. We expanded the market. I think the vast majority of people around the world probably aren't looking to buy an Xbox or PlayStation. But that doesn't mean they don't enjoy playing games. I think Apple TV expands the gaming market to those people."
While Apple doesn't intend for the Apple TV to be a replacement gaming console for hardcore gamers, it does believe that it is a great substitute for casual gamers. Cue said that hardcore gaming isn't the ecosystem that the company is after, but he does believe there will still be some titles that arrive for the platform.
When asked about Apple's rumored subscription TV service, Cue couldn't say much, but did offer some thoughts. He said that a lot of content creators are going direct to consumers, and that he sees a big opening for election season programming.
"I think back to the last election and the podcasts we promoted at the time and all the attention they generated. There's so much interest in the current presidential election across so many age groups and demographics, etc. — there is a huge opportunity there. If was a news guy covering the elections I'd create an Apple TV channel. If I was one of the candidates I'd create an Apple TV channel."
The Apple TV was recently updated, bringing support for Siri search in Apple Music, and enabled the existing Apple Remote app. Cue revealed that Apple is working to bring full functionality from the Siri Remote to the Remote app, and it is expected to launch in the first half of 2016.