Several outlets are reporting that Apple recently hired Jean-Francois Mulé as an engineering director. Mulé is a longtime cable industry veteran and former IBM engineer, and it will be interesting to see just what he'll be doing at Apple.
In a post on LinkedIn, Mulé indicated that he joined Apple last month and will be "challenged, inspired and part of something big" in his new role.
Before joining Apple, Mulé spent the last two years as senior vice president of technology development at CableLabs, where he founded the organization's San Francisco office...
During his earlier career at CableLabs, Mulé also served as VP of IP technologies and services, director of the PacketCable Architecture and chief architect. During that span, he ran or helped spearhead several projects, including PeerConnect, the cable industry's peering registry, a development program for cable industry-focused wireless services (WiFi gateways, device management, inter-operator WiFi roaming and mobile offload services using femtocells and WiFi), and was involved in several high-profile, IP-based CableLabs programs such as DOCSIS 3.0 and APIs for second-screen video apps.
As a point of interest, CableLabs is a research and development consortium of cable operators and is described thusly on Wikipedia:
CableLabs works with members to determine what service requirements are to be supported by new technologies and new services. CableLabs then seeks to support those requirements through open interface specifications, written in tandem with members and suppliers. The specifications, in turn, take much of the guesswork out of vendors' engineering decisions as to where cable operators are moving with many of their new businesses.
Persistent rumors of a branded Apple HDTV aside, keep in mind that Apple has been firming up the offerings on its favorite little hobby, the Apple TV.
Let the speculation begin.