The test for Tim Cook: can he bring Apple into your living room?

If Cook can succeed where Jobs has failed, he would put to rest questions over whether he has the vision to lead Apple, in addition to widely respected operational skills.

“The TV is the obvious gap in Apple’s product line up,” CCS Insight’s John Jackson said. “There’s pressure to constantly innovate, (but) there’s more than sufficient momentum at Apple right now that they don’t need to reinvent the movie screen the TV, the car or the horse and buggy in the immediate term.”

Getting Internet programing off computers and onto television sets has long been viewed as the next big thing for consumer technology companies, but none has succeeded so far with a product that has gained wide appeal.

Cook and the $350 billion company he now leads would be jumping into a field crowded with Microsoft, Google, Sony and Samsung.

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A great followup to my post about why AppleTV is my favorite Apple product. The living room is the next frontier for consumer hardware.

Steve Jobs is leaving Tim Cook with a strong product line and strong pipeline for iPhone, iPads, and even Mac. Those products are already winners, and Tim just needs to keep them going.

But AppleTV is the most unknown, and will require the most work to be successful. Can Tim Cook do it?

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