Jason Schwarz: Steve Jobs gets it wrong; Maybe Tim Cook is better suited to lead Apple

HOT Apple Computers + FREE Shipping“As the visionary of our generation it isn’t very often that Steve Jobs gets it wrong but he sure was missing on a few key points during the All Things Digital interview,” Jason Schwarz writes for TheStreet.

Schwarz writes, “It might be argued that he was purposefully ambiguous with his statements in order to illustrate the structural weaknesses of the cable television industry but I’m going to take him at his word and refute the following claims: No. 1. Jobs said that cable operators ‘give everybody a set-top box for free, or for $10 a month. That pretty much squashes any opportunity for innovation because nobody’s willing to buy a set-top box.'”

“Not true,” Schwarz writes. “People will pay for the right kind of set-top box.”

Schwarz writes, “No. 2. Jobs said that it’s difficult to partner with a cable company because ‘you run into another problem. Which is: there isn’t a cable operator that’s national…every single country has different standards, different government approvals, it’s very…Tower of Babelish.'”

“Steve is barking up the wrong tree,” Schwarz writes. “To bring innovation to the television industry you need to bypass the cable companies. The potential to become king of the living room is a once-per-generation opportunity and should be more than just a hobby for Apple.”

Schwarz writes, “No. 3. When discussing the obstacles of the cable TV industry, Jobs remarked, ‘I’m sure smarter people than us will figure this out, but that’s why we say Apple TV is a hobby, that’s why we use that phrase.’ Come on, Steve. I know a lot of what you said in that interview was tongue in cheek but there is no denying Apple is in the drivers seat to innovate the next big thing.”

Schwarz, “The time has come for Jobs to fully embrace new hardware that effectively leverages app use. If he can’t do it, maybe the master of business operations, COO Tim Cook is better suited to lead Apple into this new frontier. The opportunity to leverage the App Store is too massive.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Patience, oh breathless padawan. Relax. All will become clear in due time.


  1. Like Steve is really going to announce everything they are going to do to rule the world of media?? He already knows what apple is going to do in the next 5 years, probably even has some nice little pictures of everything too

  2. I initially figured that schwarz was just a hack writing a hit piece. I don’t think that’s true anymore. I watched that part of the interview, and I have to say that I think Jobs was talking past where schwarz is writing, and vice versa. Apple doesn’t own content; it cannot hope to conquer TV without sufficient content to drive the medium. Apple can build a box – but they can’t offer an environment. They can build the best, coolest box ever – but they can’t offer an environment. There are too many moving parts at the moment for anyone to be able to do that.

    That said, Schwarz is fair in saying that given Apple’s talent pool and their market power, they should be able to steer the industry toward a better solution. I just don’t know if they want to take the risk to try and accomplish that. There would be a lot working against them and inevitably, they’d have to give up a lot of control to be able to do what they need to do.

    So, here we all are, stuck with a crappy solution set for TV. It’s sad.

  3. There’s much to plan think out and prepare in order to launch a successful Apple TV proper… You can bet your  ass that Apple isn’t sleeping on the “hobby” label as J S suggests. Apple is very thorough in it’s focus and development of everything it brings to market as we well know.

    There’s a lot going on and every move has it’s moment and planned timing. We as the restless consumers that we are, want everything yesterday, but truth is a good meal needs time to cook and very little detail is important and takes even more time to coordinate and execute properly.

    There is also a lot of pre production and business planning on top of the product launch and strategy that is just as important…

    Apple knows better than anyone, how great an idea the App Store is and will take it to the limit and leverage it all the way to the bank, it cannot however rush to satisfy consumer impatience, just for the sake of it…

    Have faith and patience and remember- this is Apple under the leadership of some pretty smart guys and a visionary like Steve Jobs does not take his eye off the ball he’s been rolling uphill his entire life, that easily.

    Apple TV will evolve into a prime time great product, without doubt, anyone who really takes the ” hobby” label verbatim is rather dim and uninsightful.

  4. Not true,” Schwarz writes. “People will pay for the right kind of set-top box.”


    That is STUPID, because Schwarz repeats what Jobs himself told in the very same interview and invents argument.

  5. Is there hope for all of us who are “uneasy” or “uncomfortable” or just pissed off because the omnipotent Steve Jobs has decided we are now in the “post pc era”?

    Would Tim Cook commit Apple to the Mac business, actually produce a robust 10.7, and amazing new hardware to run it?

    Would Cook actually find a good phone company, a strong, reliable signal that doesn’t drop calls, whose pricing is fair and customer service excellent?

    If the answer is yes, then get the gold watch ready for lord Jobs, cut the cake, and send him off!

  6. He is right that the future of media delivery is not with the cable company’s traditional business model. The future is video over IP, which will reduce cable companies to ISPs more than tv service providers. It will open the market up, which will force the cable companies to compete more. The consumer will benefit, and it gives Apple the opportunity to step in with an innovative solution that no one has thought of – yet.

  7. No. 1. Does Schwarz have sales figures to back up his claim that Jobs is wrong? How much money does Tivo make per year? Answer: not much. Steve is correct.

    No. 2. How does one bypass cable companies when these cable companies are regional monopolies for TV and often internet service as well? I would like to see Schwarz propose how to bring forth one successful product that will both rely on a service providers and also undermine the service providers’ profits.

    No. 3. Interesting phrase, but Apple is wise not to undermine the ISPs that feed it.

    No. 4/conclusion Tim is very able, but Steve’s still CEO and there is no need for Apple to change horses when the current leader is doing such a fine job.

  8. That Schwarz critises Apple is, in an of itself, rare, and therefore interesting. OTOH, he is just commenting on a single media appearance that just happens to come just before a major Apple conference. Either way, it’s good to see Schwarz attempting some level of balance in his reviews of Apple.

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