Steve Jobs never said he wanted to build a revolutionary television set

“We shouldn’t blame Walter Isaacson. 13 months ago his official biography of Steve Jobs revealed the recently-deceased Apple CEO had his mind set on revolutionising television,” Gordon Kelly writes Trusted Reviews. “‘He very much wanted to do for television sets what he had done for computers, music players, and phones,’ Isaacson wrote. More too Jobs reportedly told him: ‘I finally cracked it.'”

“The tech press went nuts and a product was expected before the end of the year. Quickly expectations were redefined and an Apple television would instead launch before the end of 2012. In September reports leaked that it may skip 2012 altogether,” Kelly writes. “Stop. Stop. Stop! It’s time for some perspective because both Apple and Microsoft would be mad to make televisions.”

Kelly writes, “The full segment from the biography reads: ”I’d like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use,’ he told me. ‘It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud.’ No longer would users have to fiddle with complex remotes for DVD players and cable channels. ‘It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.’ Jobs never said he wanted to build a revolutionary television, he said he wanted to revolutionise TV… and you don’t need to sell a television to do that.”

Read more in the full article here.


    1. Don’t call it “apple tv”. When you call it “—tv” the content providers immediately block it to extract extra fees.
      Instead, you produce a low cost computer with a desktop (non-iOS) interface with “lightning-fast” video streaming that “brings all your favorite free Internet video to your own monitor”. In fact “you can even connect it to your big screen home theater with its built-in hdmi cable or our new Apple retina 4k 60″ TV via thunder port.”
      Now, how can apple do that for $299? Abondon intel for ARM, first on this product to be launched this spring. But you can’t call it an Apple TV. “This is the new Mac nano.”
      This, IMHO, is how Steve “cracked it”.

    1. I agree. My current TV user experience is quite poor, compared to using a Mac or iPhone.

      I have what is the equivalent of a “dumb monitor.” That is my “TV,” as described in this article. But that is not my “TV experience,” which includes the cable box and anything else connected to the TV, such as a disc player or Apple TV box. All of those things taken together is my TV experience, and it is a mess. Each device (including the TV itself) has its own remote control and distinct user interface. Over time, technology “progress” is not making things easier; it is getting more complex and annoying. If there was ever a market ripe for Apple invading, integrating, and conquering, it’s the TV market.

      The mistake that many of these “experts” make is thinking that Apple will release a TV that just replaces the current “dumb monitor.” Or that it will be an HDTV with a built-in Apple TV box. Apple will NOT do something so limited. There needs to be the potential for success on the scale of iPhone and iPad, or it’s still just a “hobby.”

      What Apple will (or should) do, by working WITH (not against) the cable TV providers, is one product that replaces the ENTIRE TV experience. ONE interface, similar to the current Apple TV interface, that controls everything the user wants to do with a TV, with ONE remote control. Simple and elegant access to all the cable TV content they have already, plus all the content and features Apple provides through the current Apple TV box, plus control of the TV hardware itself.

      Because of the partnership with cable TV providers, Apple can get a subsidy for the “iTV” (like the iPhone subsidy), which will knock several hundred dollars from the up-front price and make it comparable (or lower) in price compared to typical dumb TVs of the same screen size. The cable TV providers can collect the subsidy back from customers with a monthly fee that replaces the current “rental fee” for the cable box (and from eliminating the cost of providing and servicing those cable boxes). In this way, the Apple’s TV strategy mirrors iPhone.

    1. Gene is an idiot who should NEVER be taken seriously. He’s wrong more often than not, and when he’s right it’s only the most OBVIOUS things. This guys a moron who knows nothing. Apple stand to gain nothing from selling a 55 inch panel. Simply idiotic.

      It’s a shame he spews this crap like it’s gospel and people reprint it.

  1. I believe the “crack” was or is HDMI it’s just not far enough along yet to take over most of the television experience from what I can gather. If Apple did release a real TV it would have to start with 4K not before. IMHO 😊

  2. What I tink is funny is that all these rumors prompted Samsung to come to market with that gimmicky smart TV. Apple probably did not have one in the pipeline and the competition preempted at nothing but a rumor. No hockey puck was there Samsung 🙂

  3. Just beef up AppleTV and make it fully controllable with ALL iOS devices. Things like doing searches using an actual keypad instead of that wretched alpha-numeric grid thing would be fantastic… and LONG overdue!

    My HDTV is used only as a monitor. The TV bits are completely unnecessary. I have no TV service and use cable only for my internet connection.

  4. Been saying this for as long as Gene Munster’s been predicting the opposite.

    Apple. Will. Not. Make. A. TV.

    -There are no margins in TVs and all manufacturers are losing money – all of them.
    -Apple makes a set top box now that will work with all TVs.

    Munster has been banging this drum for 3 years now and it’s as stupid now as it was then. First it was going to be hit the market next month, now obviously it’s going to be next year – for some reason he can’t be bothered to mention. The fact that this idiot still gets press time is only an indication of how much the analyst community – and tech media that covers them – sucks ass.

    1. Amen, brutha. I agree 1,000%. And anyone who’s a Bruce Campbell fan is a friend of mine.

      As for Gene Munster (or is it Herman?), analysts should learn that they are number crunchers (and usually lousy ones at that), not visionaries. And Gene, please don’t use a research not as a pulpit to predict what you can’t see, nor demand what makes no sense to build. Can you not see what is happening g to companies like Sony, Sharp and Panasonic? TVs are a commodity, with low margins and low turnover. This is exactly the type of business Apple wisely chooses to avoid. Wish all you want, pal, but it ain’t gonna happen.

      Sadly, the echo chamber media runs with idiotic prophecies like yours, along with the blather of bloggers using anatomical extraction for their insights. These same analysts and bloggers are often paid off by hedge funds, short sellers and Apple competitors to sow FUD of the sort that has badly suppressed Apple’s stock valuation, all of which the echo chamber media is too happy to trumpet. The Big Lie eventually becomes accepted as fact, and the media washes its collective hands of the sin.

      But truth eventually bubbles to the surface. And eventually, Gene Munster will be made accountable for opening his pie hole. Eventually, Wall Street and the media will get a clue of the earnings and cash generated by Apple, and slowly, Apple’s stock price will rise closer to its fair value, no thanks to the jackals.

  5. The key is Podcasts, video Podcasts.

    By separating them from the iTunes, Apple has now created the platform by which content will be distributed.

    Siri will assist in navigating the content.

    While Airplay will stream it to which ever device you would like.

  6. ”I’d like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use.”

    What part of this don’t people understand? He said INTEGRATED TV SET. That means a television with an Apple TV built in. And then how he wanted to do for TV what he did for iPods and computers. That’s then combining hardware AND software. Sorry guys, but it does mean he wanted to make the hardware and software. Ergo a complete TV. To be sure, imagine Apple just using other people’s TVs? They couldn’t control the whole experience. Namely, the quality of the screen. Right now their hoppy is just that: a hobby. What Jobs was talking about is the full meal deal.

    That TV was supposed to:

    1. Have a Retina display.
    2. Be 50″+.
    3. Have an updated Apple TV interface and simple remote.
    4. Work with Airplay.
    5. Have Siri built in to allow users to just say what they want to watch.
    6. Have streaming content (TV shows/movies/music) and podcasts from iTunes.
    7. Have video games that can be controlled with iDevices. But NOT have a bunch of “Apps”. That’s stupid. Apps are meant for multi-touch devices, not a television.
    8. Be a monthly subscription rate.

    The TV is to be super razor with a silver, white, or black bezel and an Apple logo bottom center. It was to have built in stereo speakers for thick, rich sound. Anti-glare screen in the ballpark of an 8K UHDTV (4320p) 7680 × 4320 screen with a solid state hard drive built in.

    It would cost $2995 for 50″ 256 GB storage and $3695 for 60″ 512 GB storage and be marketed as the one TV to rule them all.

    1. This WILL NOT be a “TV set” or any other kind of video display hardware. You simply do not need any kind of TV set/monitor device nor will Apple creat one. Ever. Just not economically warranted.

      What WILL happen – if Apple can ever negotiate a deal with the content providers – is a versionn of the “hobby” Apple TV. I’ve said this before, all Apple needs to do is facilitate the distribution of cable/satellite signals from the respective modems to the Apple TV. You already have this, to a lesser degree, with Hulu Plus, etc. on the current Apple TV.

      Designing a hadrdware display medium that would be consistent with Apple’s/Jony Ive’s standards would certainly be prohibitively expensive and would most likely not sell enough units to generate a profit.

      Apple doesn’t need to make an Apple TV set to hook customers in. They already have the Apple TV. The problem has always been negotiating with the content providers to make that option more cost-effective – and that would definitely be more profitable, ultimately, than a TV set.


  7. Steve jobs wanted to sell Tv channels like apps you buy what you want to watch, now you have a Tv set and channels you never want to watch Easy all through Apple Tv or something similar

    1. I agree with this completely. Apple is a successful company because they offer products and services that are innovate AND solve real problems for people. In this case the real problem is having a bunch of channels you don’t want but are forced into them from cable providers.

      This is one of many innovations that’ll make up the Apple TV.

      Problems they’ll solve with a full TV:

      1. Super high res 7680 x 4320 screen with 2 ghz motion sensor for the crispest, smoothed picture ever. Currently TVs are mostly low margin junk with pixelated screens and choppy motion.
      2. Best UI. Currently TV UIs are terrible, including their remote controls.
      3. Lots of internal storage for non streaming content. Currently TVs don’t really have hard drives. Either you watch cable or play DVDs. This TV will allow you to watch your owned digital content with hard drive storage and buy from iTunes.
      4. Easily stream content from your computers with Airplay. Currently TVs suck with this setup.
      5. Voice control. Siri will be built in and be the “killer” interface for the TV. Namely, no need for any interface other than to just say what you want to watch. Finding things to watch on TVs today is terrible.
      6. Design. It will be beautifully designed unlike the cheap plastic hunks of ugly that exist currently. The design will lend itself to be easily mountable.
      7. Great sound. Most TVs have crap sound.

  8. Everybody watches some Tv,why look to build a Tv set with HD,retina display ,Siri which is not working well, plus the price of it all just look at the new mac book pros, you can kill your self with a high price plus look at Apple there looking at figures rather than looking at the next big thing which brings in the money like IPhone it’s all a money thing now,good products bring in money. Apple Tv or set top box just think, sit and think with a clear head it’s not that hard you would save money if you could the buy Tv stations which you wanted

  9. The concept is simple. You create a tiny box that connects to the dumb internet pipe ( wirelessly if you want ) and in turn connects it to the HDMI socket of a dumb screen. The screen could be a monitor or a full blown conventional TV, it doesn’t matter which.

    The box already exists in it’s early incarnations ( Apple TV ) and is obviously going to become a lot more versatile. What you end up with is a very low cost device that does exactly what Steve Jobs said was needed. The device would be tucked away out of sight and the remote control is your existing IOS devices, coupled with intelligence added by SIRI and software that anticipates your viewing requirements.

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