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.

appletv

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 Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 14
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Don't Buy)

Top Rated Comments

haruhiko Avatar
93 months 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.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Defactomonkey Avatar
93 months 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.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Count Blah Avatar
93 months ago
And he also intimated that a 7" iPad would be a no go. How did that end up?

The only constant is change.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Oletros Avatar
93 months 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"
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
spyguy10709 Avatar
93 months 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)
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JAQ Avatar
93 months 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.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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