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Steve Jobs Told Employees in 2010 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.

Related roundup: Apple TV

Top Rated Comments

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24 weeks ago

And he also intimated that a 7" iPad would be a no go. How did that end up?

The only constant is change.


Instead, Apple released a 7.9" tablet which has a much bigger screen than 7" 16:9 tablets.
Rating: 19 Votes
24 weeks ago
I would like to see Apple TV and boxes like it (Roku, Chromecast) replace cable television as the world's primary television source. The nut to crack is going to be Internet. Right now cable companies have a strong lock on it which needs to be broken.
Rating: 18 Votes
24 weeks ago
And he also intimated that a 7" iPad would be a no go. How did that end up?

The only constant is change.
Rating: 15 Votes
24 weeks ago

Instead, Apple released a 7.9" tablet which has a much bigger screen than 7" 16:9 tablets.


Well, Jobs said that anything below 10" was not right so it doesn't matter if the iPad mini is 7" or 7.9"
Rating: 13 Votes
24 weeks ago
In 2003, Steve Jobs said that Apple would "never" make a Tablet, PDA, or Phone.


4 Years later, He was introducing a widescreen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone, and a portable internet device.

7 Years later, he invited us all to see his latest creation.

Lets see where his legacy takes us, before we listen to what he directly said. :)

Source - http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/Steve_Jobs_No_Tablet_No_PDA_No_Cell_Phone_Lots_Of_iPods (http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/Steve_Jobs_No_Tablet_No_PDA_No_Cell_Phone_Lots_Of_iPods)
Rating: 11 Votes
24 weeks ago
Jobs was saying that making and selling screens is a sucker's game. There are a dozen companies already doing that, and the profit margins suck. Apple doesn't have anything in its pocket to improve on rectangles that display moving images. They don't even make them for their own computers: they subcontract that out.

Where Apple can innovate (and profit) is on the devices that feed images to those displays. They have the technology and content leverage to do something different in that part of the market, and that's where they're going to keep focusing. Let people buy their dumb displays from Magnabox, Hibachi, Suny, and Samesong ... and their content and content-management system from Apple.
Rating: 9 Votes
24 weeks ago

And he also intimated that a 7" iPad would be a no go. How did that end up?

The only constant is change.


There is no 7-inch iPad. There's one that's about 8 inches though.
Rating: 8 Votes
24 weeks ago
I love my Apple TV. I think that giving it an app store and adding more content is really all it needs. As for the screen? Well, Apple hasn't even released a new monitor in years. Maybe it will finally release a 4k display soon. But to me, I would think that keeping the brains in a separate box (aka the Apple TV) makes more sense than building it into the display that does not get replaced often. I think that adding more memory and opening up the Apple TV (aka App store) would be more profitable for Apple.

The only question is when will Apple be able to break the link for the content from cable service. I have cut my cable, so all the new content that Apple has added to the ATV is worthless because it has to be linked to a cable subscription. If Apple is able to break that, the ATV will explode in sales, IMO.
Rating: 8 Votes
24 weeks ago

And he also intimated that a 7" iPad would be a no go. How did that end up?

The only constant is change.


Very well. It ended being a much larger (almost) 8 inch tablet that has a much better screen ratio than the rest.

EDIT: Oops. I see haruhiko above me has already said this.
Rating: 7 Votes
24 weeks ago

Just let apple take over the whole cable experience. I don't mind paying the cable company top dollar for content, but their existing experience sucks. Much like the telephone companies did in 2006. I wouldn't mind signing a contract for a $650 apple tv. Also when I had issues with something I go to apple not Time Warner Cable. They just don't know anything about how to treat a customer. Additionally if I'm paying $8 for netflix and get so much different content. Then why then do I pay the cable company $150 and get nothing in return. Why can't I just say "man I haven't seen the goonies for years" and just bring it up and watch it right there. After all I'm paying such a premium price for cable.


Paying cable companies big bucks for what amounts to 4-5 good channels is lame and that's why so many people are ditching it. They MUST come up with an ala carte system instead of your monthly bill just being an on/off switch. You may be OK handing them a ton of money each month but most aren't. I want the capability to choose the channels I want to pay for and that's it. Just like a buffet at a restaurant or whatever. If I want a burger I don't want to be told I have to pay for the chicken sandwich and tofu too even though I won't eat either one. Same idea here.

The good news is that we've been cable free for over five years now and have saved thousands of dollars. Between netflix, hulu plus, and my roof antenna we have enough to watch and the total monthly cost is around $20 bucks instead of over a hundred.

I'm all for Apple or anyone else putting the squeeze on these damn cable companies and their BS. And, while they are at it, let's get some other internet options out there too.
Rating: 6 Votes

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