Steve Jobs Said that Apple Would Not Release a Television

According to a passage from Yukari Kane’s upcoming book Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs, in 2010, Steve Jobs told Apple executives that the company would not be releasing a television. Business Insider relays the exchange which occurred at Apple’s 2010 “Top 100” retreat for Apple executive, managers and employees.


The attendees of the Top 100 retreat would hear presentations of Apple’s business and often be exposed to new Apple products. The contents of the meeting are supposed to remain secret. The last day of the meeting, Jobs offered to answer any questions, and someone asked if Apple was going to release a television next.

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.)

Jobs reportedly went on to say that he did want to control the living room, but that the current Apple TV set-top-box would remain a hobby until Apple was able to get the the content it needed.

There was apparently some disagreement amongst attendees if Jobs was sincere in his comments. Back in 2003, Jobs had told reporters that he didn’t feel that Apple could add much value to mobile phones. The iPhone was announced four years later. Meanwhile, it’s been three years since this statement, and other reports, including Steve Jobs’ biography attributes comments from Jobs that he had “finally cracked” the difficulties in building an Apple television set. Meanwhile, Tim Cook also has made comments more recently that TV remains an “intense interest” for Apple, though that may refer to enhancing the Apple TV set-top-box experience than releasing a full-scale television.

    



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