Steve Jobs told executives Apple would not release a TV

By , Mar 17, 2014

steve jobs d8

When the magic dust of the iPad settled, pundits and analysts alike began to wonder out loud what Apple was going to do next. What product category was the company going to revolutionize next? And for the longest time, a lot of folks thought it was going to be televisions.

Some even believed that’s what Steve Jobs was referring to when he said he had “finally cracked” the secret of TV. But according to a passage from Yukari Kane’s new book ‘Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs,’ the co-founder never wanted Apple to release its own TV set…

In the passage, Kane passes along details from one of Apple’s ‘Top 100′ meetings from 2010. The company hosts the meeting every year featuring its top 100 executives, managers and employees. They are extremely secretive, and often include the discussion of new products.

The 2010 meeting was Jobs’ last, and Kane says that on the last day of the retreat, the then-CEO sat in front of the room with everyone and said, “You’ve got Steve Jobs sitting right here. You’re my guys, you can ask me anything.” And someone brought up the television rumors.

BusinessInsider has the exchange:

One person asked if Apple was going to release a television next. There were already rumors all over the place that it was Apple’s next conquest. Yukari says “Jobs didn’t hesitate.” He said, “No.”

“TV is a terrible business. They don’t turn over and the margins suck,” said Jobs. (Unlike iPhones which are wildly profitable and replaced every two years, a TV gets replaced every 8 years, and isn’t all that profitable.)

He did want to control the living room, though, he said. He also said the Apple TV, the little video streaming box, would remain a hobby until Apple got all the content it needed.”

As you can imagine, many of the executives in the room knew not to take Jobs’ comment too seriously. After all, he had said the same thing about mobile phones years before, as well as video iPods and 8-inch tablets. He had a history of changing his mind about these kinds of things.

Apple TV (teaser 001)

At the same time, though, it’s worth noting that television rumors are now few and far between, replaced by talk of a smartwatch and a refreshed set-top box. Also note what he says about the Apple TV being a hobby, as it might add some context to Tim Cook’s recent comments.

At the shareholders meeting last month, Cook told investors that it’s becoming ‘a little more difficult to call [the Apple TV] a hobby these days.’ Apple is believed to be readying a new version of its popular set-top box with app and game support to release sometime later this year.

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  • Litchy

    I don’t think a complete Apple TV-set will ever happen. Upgrading and giving the existing AppleTV new features is a no brainer.

    Very exited to see how apple is going to change the AppleTV

    • AndroidDogHeatandSteelersFan

      by using the iphone or ipod to laser point the mouse on the tv.

  • iltas

    any body help me. i hve some thing wron in my ip5 7.0.6 i neeed to restore but i cant it gives 3194 i put host trying many pc same
    plz how i restore 7.0.6

    • tstsr6

      Isn’t the signing window closed for iOS 7.0.6? That means that you can only restore your phone to 7.1 as far as I am aware

      • iltas

        i restore using semi restore
        but i hve still sources and aslo cydia
        still old files in my dynmaic libarary

      • leart

        After using semirestore try using icleaner and check to clean cydia dependencies and sources, more than this you can’t do more

      • iltas

        Thnx can u explain I restore using semi restore works perfect installing anything from cydia .but I’m conferm from u after 7.1 jailbreak release can i update easily .
        I have problem only color keyboard not work
        I delet file using ifile
        Thnx gay

    • Tom

      You cannot restore to 7.0.6. You need to update to 7.1 or you could restore to 7.1 if you have .ipsw file.

      • iltas

        if i update to 7.1 can i downgrade it

      • Svs

        You cant

    • Svs

      Sorry but its impossible
      Are you jailbroken?if so have you installed openssh?
      Are your device stuck on a bootloop?
      Can you turn on the screen
      Try using semi restore
      Try a hard reset

      • iltas

        man i restore it by using semi restore but i have o;d files in my dynmaic libery is they create and prblm
        also winterboard showing double themes folder

      • Svs

        Just delete it

      • leart

        That’s normal, semirestore is not a full restore, and its not as good like semirestore on ios 6.
        Don’t care to much about some files left back from semirestore, they are not playing any role at all.

      • iltas

        U mean they create any problem but I install my tweak back from cydia it’s work
        But prefer ace and caches folder old file there
        Sorry for disturb

      • Brandon Moore

        Download iCleaner from cydia turn off everything and turn on Cydia sources, then press the ‘Clean’ button and when it’s done respring. Go into cydia and click refresh. It world for me.

      • iltas

        Where I turn on/off
        Inside icleaner

      • Brandon Moore

        Yes

  • Matt

    I don’t know and I hope that I don’t sound ignorant
    But I couldn’t care less if they release a tv.
    I already have a smart tv I mean how smarter can it get?
    Maybe brushed aluminum bezels?
    And the current Apple TV box is perfectly fine and since it’s jailbroken — well that’s sugar coating it.

    • David Gitman

      My smart TV is laggy.. So performance and speed I guess? Siri? Idk

    • Litchy

      I have never seen a SmartTV thats teally smart. Jobs would call them DumbTV’s :D Nobody really uses them because even the cheapest Settopbox is smarter (AppleTV, Chromecast, Roku)

  • Linton Findlay

    i really doubt they would introduce 2 new lines of products in one year. we will probably see the iwatch this year. Steve is right though, people dont go out to but a slightly better model of tv like they do phones, cant see how they could sustain that. least with the iwatch it could be bundled in a phone contract

  • iltas

    cydia not showing updates badgets in my ip5s

  • ✪ aidan harris ✪

    Hmm I guess all of the talk about the Apple TV no longer being a hobby is false then since (in the UK at least) Apple is nowhere near to having all of the content they need…

  • http://www.jamesgunaca.com James Gunaca

    This line of thinking around “people don’t go and buy a new TV every two years like they do an iPhone” is kind of bogus. The same could be said about an iMac, Mac Pro or a MacBook Pro. I just put my 2008 MacBook Pro to pasture and upgraded to a MBPr. I have no doubt this 13″ beast will last me at least another 5 years.

    And over the last 5+ years, Apple’s suppliers for things like glass and chip-fabs have lowered their costs for them because of the massive orders they are now making. Courtesy of iOS devices. But, yes, a 1080p panel or even a “retina” like TV set (4K) would still set consumers back a few thousand bucks. This is Apple we’re talking about, though. They sell a $10,000 computer that gets sold out and is on back order! A TV is not out of their wheel house.

    But, content is king when it comes to TV and that’s why they’ve been playing in that space first. More content for the Apple TV has come out in the last year then in all other years of the Apple TV combined. That is evidence enough that big things are afoot in the TV space for Apple. They’re not finished yet, not by a long shot.

  • n0ahcruz3

    Apple should release an iconsole and scrap the whole apple tv, make an all-in-one console. Has a great target audience hardcore gamers content media consumers etc. This will make apple conquer the living room more.

  • ProfessorX1®

    Or Apple can update the ThunderBolt display and ship it with HDMI input and a retina display. Bam. Mind- blown.

  • Matt

    You can ask Steve Jobs anything… What would you ask?

    • Guest

      Why did you choose the path of hypocrisy (http://bit ly/13tVo4n) for Apple?