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
90 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
90 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
90 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
90 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
90 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
90 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)

Top Stories

lg wing

LG Considering Exit From Smartphone Business, Halts LCD Production for iPhone

Wednesday January 20, 2021 5:38 am PST by
LG is considering exiting the smartphone business entirely amid declining shipments and accrued losses of $4.5 billion over the past five years (via The Korea Herald). LG CEO Kwon Bong-Seok cautioned staff earlier today that the company is re-evaluating its presence in the smartphone industry: Since the competition in the global market for mobile devices is getting fiercer, it is about...
2019 mac pro side and front

Tim Cook Gifted Donald Trump 'First' 2019 Mac Pro

Wednesday January 20, 2021 5:45 pm PST by
Apple CEO Tim Cook gifted former United States President Donald Trump with the first 2019 Mac Pro that came off of the assembly line in Austin, Texas, according to a financial disclosure report that was released today (via The Verge). "Mac Pro Computer, the first created at the Flex Factory in Austin, Texas," reads the entry, which values the machine at $5,999, the base price for a Mac Pro....
Apple VR Feature

Bloomberg: Apple's First AR/VR Headset 'Pricey, Niche Precursor' to More Ambitious AR Glasses and Could Launch Next Year

Thursday January 21, 2021 3:27 am PST by
Apple's first virtual reality headset will be a "pricey, niche precursor" to a more ambitious augmented reality product, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. As a mostly virtual reality device, it will display an all-encompassing 3-D digital environment for gaming, watching video and communicating. AR functionality, the ability to overlay images and information over a view...
Flat MacBook Air Feature

Bloomberg: Apple Working on 'Thinner and Lighter' High-End MacBook Air With MagSafe, Could Launch in Second Half of 2021

Friday January 22, 2021 3:34 am PST by
Apple is working on a "thinner and lighter" version of the MacBook Air that the company plans to release during the second half of this year at the earliest or in 2022, according to a new report by well-connected Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. It will include Apple's MagSafe charging technology and a next-generation version of the company's in-house Mac processors. Apple has discussed...
iOS 15 icon mock banner

iOS 15 Rumored to Drop Support for iPhone 6s and 2016 iPhone SE

Thursday January 21, 2021 11:58 am PST by
Apple's upcoming iOS 15 operating system, which we expect to see unveiled in June, is rumored to be dropping support for a few of Apple's older iPhones. According to French site iPhoneSoft, iOS 15 will not be able to be installed on the iPhone 6s, the iPhone 6s Plus, or the 2016 iPhone SE, all of which have an A9 chip. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus were introduced in 2015 and are now more...
iphone 12 vs iphone 12 mini

Apple Shifting Some Production From iPhone 12 mini to iPhone 12 Pro to Meet Demand

Wednesday January 20, 2021 8:12 am PST by
Apple has reportedly cut production of the iPhone 12 mini by two million units to create more manufacturing capacity for the iPhone 12 Pro, according to a new Morgan Stanley investment note seen by PED30. Apple is believed to have made the switch for the first quarter of 2021 in an effort to combat continuing lead times for the more popular iPhone 12 Pro. iPhone 12 Pro lead times remain ...
iPhone 13 Notch Feature

iPhone 13 Rumored to Feature Smaller Notch, Pro Model Cameras to Use Larger Image Sensor

Thursday January 21, 2021 1:38 am PST by
Apple's iPhone 13 series will feature a redesigned Face ID system that will allow for a smaller notch at the top of the screen, according to a new report today. The rumor comes via hit-and-miss Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes, whose supply chain sources also claim that the ultra wide-angle lens in Apple's next-generation iPhones is due for an upgrade. The next-generation iPhones'...
maxresdefault

Video Demos macOS Catalina Running on iPad Pro via x86 Emulation

Thursday January 21, 2021 11:36 am PST by
A video demonstrating macOS Catalina running on a current 2020 iPad Pro has been shared on YouTube, giving us a look at an interesting hack that has a Mac OS up and working on one of Apple's iPads. There's limited information about how the process of getting macOS Catalina on an iPad Pro works, but it uses x86 emulation and was done through the UTM software that allows virtual machines to...
iOS 14

Apple Seeds iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 Release Candidate to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Thursday January 21, 2021 10:14 am PST by
Apple today seeded the RC version of upcoming iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new betas coming a week after Apple released the second betas. iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. Paired with the HomePod 14.4 beta that is...
iPhone OIS Feature2

Sensor-Shift Camera Stabilization Rumored to Expand to Entire iPhone 13 Lineup

Wednesday January 20, 2021 7:46 am PST by
The entire iPhone 13 lineup will feature sensor-shift optical image stabilization, compared to only the iPhone 12 Pro Max among current models, according to a brief story preview shared today by Taiwanese publication DigiTimes. "Apple's next-generation iPhones slated for launch in the second half of 2021 will all come with sensor-shift stabilization technology, according to industry...