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Apple TV: $140 million worth sold in three months, but still a 'hobby'

During the most recent conference call discussing Apple's quarterly results, Apple's executives did something highly unusual and divulged actual sales figures for the Apple TV. Responding to a question about Apple's future plans for the TV-centric device, Apple dodged the question (as is typical when it's asked to speculate on unreleased products), and said it still classifies the Apple TV as a "hobby."

That hobby still turns out to be pretty lucrative for Apple, though. Apple sold 2.8 million units during the 2011 fiscal year -- a low number compared to sales of its other devices, but the US$99 product still added $280 million or so in revenue for the year. Nothing to sneeze at. According to Tim Cook, however, Apple's sales of the device for its most recent quarter totaled 1.4 million, so even though the device hasn't been updated in quite some time, demand for it remains steady.

Apple is in a very interesting position where it can consider a device that brought in $140 million in revenue over three months a "hobby." Cook and the other execs on the call gave no indication that the Apple TV would be updated in the near future, so the Apple HDTV remains 2012's Little Rumor that Could.

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