On the related topic of Apple Kremlinology, maybe Apple is getting more into hifi, for example the improvement to headphone port on the 2021 MacBook Pro (instead of the removal of the port altogether): it now supports high-impedance cans: Use high-impedance headphones with new MacBook Pro models - Apple Support
My experiences with iTunes, Apple Music have been mixed at best and have never lasted half a year, but I like the fact that better audio connections are now being created in computers with the jack already. If then even in the configuration would be high-quality sound cards optinal, the audio world will be better.
It would not surprise me at all if Apple looked at the HiFi market and decided that audiophiles who spend exorbitant amounts on products are customers that they want.
Producing AV equipment supports the Apple TV hardware, HiFi speakers / AMP DACs supports Apple Music and iOS.
They are also the type of company that can convince customers to pivot. At the moment generally speaking audio quality is bottom of the list of the vast majority of music subscribers (library size, features, app quality and recs are much more important).
Apple could decide to create audio products that put sound quality higher up the list which would in turn put pressure on their biggest competitors (Google, Spotify).
Also Apple does actually seem to care about quality, their dacs always perform really well and they ran a masters programme for artists to ensure that when they uploaded their music, the resulting AAC file was as good as that codec would allow.
I think Apple will ultimately have cd lossless play through even their wireless headphones. I do think they are serious about audio but I think we will have to wait for their next iteration of airplay,etc to see it.
I could see them offering airplay ,lossless and even hi res airplay headphones. They want to sell hardware!
Apple likes to sell hardware that is proprietary in nature and can be sold in volume. If Apple wants to do that with HIFI, they would need some products like Smart Speakers that could be set up in tandem for stereo, and sound bars.
To really make a dent in the audiophile market, I think that Apple would need some type of Airplay streamer that could be connected to stereo systems or AVR systems. The jury is out as to whether the markets for any of these products would be big enough to entice Apple to enter those markets. We will see what happens. Until I can get a real Airplay Streamer this is just controlled by in IOS device and works like Spotify Connect or Roon, I won’t consider Apple Music.
I do think an Apple Connect will eventually come. . In the meantime I use Tidal Connect.
If Apple wants to remain the technology leader at least in devices, it is consistent to invest the billions there to keep the growth path. They have already fallen so far in services that I find it hard to believe in a victorious renewal. Here, I see more of a further slide down the victory ladder. Pole position is gone everywhere, second place in music is in jeopardy, and in other areas the victory ladder is even further away. With world markets, it is also more difficult to successfully continue the old regional lobbying, and in the home country, there is also more talk of breaking up the large corporations and old monopoly structures, up to and including a court decision to abandon the existing profitable store rules. Sideloading can make 20 billion disappear from the services. Without this old fun, no continuation thought is wasted at Apple. Profitable business is sought where it seems possible from the strong market position.