Steve Jobs Planned to Work on Apple TV Set After Stepping Down as Apple CEO

When Steve Jobs stepped down from his position as Apple CEO on August 24, 2011 due to illness, he didn't intend to leave the company. Instead Jobs told Recode's Walt Mossberg he planned work on an Apple-branded television set to re-invent the television industry.

Recode today shared a full recounting of Jobs' conversation with Mossberg, which took place on the same day that Jobs left the company. The two discussed his plans for television experience that would be "fantastic."

appletvappstore

"He was going to still be involved. Their press release made some vague nod toward that. But he wanted me to know that he was going to be involved in big strategic things, and also that he was going to reserve one particular thing for himself."

"I said, 'well, what's that?'"

"He said, 'Well, it's television ... I think we figured out a way to do it, and it's going to be fantastic. I want you to come out, in a few months, and I want to show it to you.'"

According to Mossberg, Jobs didn't share in-depth information about his television ambitions, offering no details on hardware or programming, but Mossberg believes he was talking about a full integrated television set and software experience.

Mossberg says Jobs was "really excited" about the project and he came away with the sense that Jobs was going to "reinvent the whole TV set" at the conclusion of the conversation. Unfortunately, Jobs didn't get a chance to further pursue the television project because he passed away from pancreatic cancer on October 5, 2011, less than two months after stepping down as CEO.

Jobs famously made similar statements on TV to biographer Walter Isaacson. He told Isaacson that he wanted to develop an integrated television set that's "completely easy to use," syncing seamlessly with iCloud. "It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine," Jobs is quoted as saying. "I finally cracked it."

Since Jobs' death, Apple has tried to gain a stronger foothold in the television industry, but it has failed time and time again to establish the deals that would allow it to create the full integrated television programming experience and television set that Jobs envisioned. Most recently, Apple wanted to create a streaming television bundle of approximately 25 channels at a cost of $30 to $40 per month, but negotiations fell through.

There were also rumors for many years suggesting Apple was pursuing a full television set, but those plans are said to have been shelved because Apple couldn't find untapped features that would give it a clear edge in the television market.

Instead, Apple has focused on its Apple TV set-top box, introducing a new version with a full App Store and Siri support last October. Apple CEO Tim Cook has said several times that "the future of TV is apps," with Apple working to position the Apple TV as a platform that allows other content providers to distribute their content instead of offering a streaming service itself.

Top Rated Comments

Lapidus Avatar
63 months ago
I embrace the comments that I'm silly.. But sometimes I really get sad that he's not here anymore. I really believe it would've made a huge difference. And boy, waiting for a keynote he's about to present was so exciting every single time :) Well..
Score: 53 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Relentless Power Avatar
63 months ago
And Jobs likely would have re-invented the t.v. Industry. He still is the face of modern technology today.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DotCom2 Avatar
63 months ago
GAWD I miss him.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AllergyDoc Avatar
63 months ago
I bet Jobs could've got it done through force of will and pure ambition.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
farewelwilliams Avatar
63 months ago
and then...we have today's Apple TV :(
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
citi Avatar
63 months ago
IMO, He cracked TV, when they released the ipad. This next generation of kids don't even watch the traditional TV anymore. I walked in and the TV was on the screen saver and they were all watching individual shows on their iphones and ipads.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

apple watch 6s 202009

Bloomberg: Apple Watch Series 7 to Feature Thinner Screen Bezels, Faster Processor, and Updated Ultra Wideband Tech

Monday June 14, 2021 3:41 am PDT by
This year's Apple Watch Series 7 is likely to have thinner display bezels and use a new lamination technique that brings the display closer to the front cover, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. From the report: The Cupertino, California-based tech giant is planning to refresh the line this year -- with a model likely dubbed the Apple Watch Series 7 -- by adding a faster processor,...
studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
m1 imac back

Some M1 iMac Models Shipping With Crooked Mountings

Monday June 14, 2021 12:50 pm PDT by
Some M1 iMacs appear to have a manufacturing defect that causes the display to be mounted on the stand in a way that's not perfectly aligned, leading to a crooked display. YouTuber iPhonedo over the weekend published a review of the M1 iMac, and he found that his machine appeared to be tilted on one side, a mounting disparity that was visibly noticeable and proved with a ruler. Another...
ios 15 home screen icons

iOS 15 Lets You Drag and Drop Images and Text Across Apps

Saturday June 12, 2021 3:17 pm PDT by
Apple this week previewed iOS 15, which is available now in beta for developers ahead of a public release later this year. One smaller but useful new feature added is the ability to drag and drop images, text, files, and more across apps on iPhone. MacStories editor-in-chief Federico Viticci demonstrated the new feature in a tweet: Using cross-app drag and drop on iPhone in iOS 15. Finally 🎉 #WW ...
ipad iphone duo ios 12

Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 12.5.4 Security Fix for Older iPhones and iPads

Monday June 14, 2021 10:15 am PDT by
Apple today released new iOS and iPadOS 12.5.4 updates, with the new software aimed at older devices that are unable to run the iOS 14 update that's available on modern devices. The iOS and iPadOS 12.5.4 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to Settings > General > Software...
apple new iphone case colors

Apple Releases New Sunflower, Cloud Blue and Electric Orange iPhone 12 Cases

Monday June 14, 2021 11:12 am PDT by
Apple today released silicone iPhone cases for the iPhone 12, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max, and 12 mini in a series of new colors that include sunflower, cloud blue, and electric orange. Sunflower is a bright yellow shade, cloud blue is a soft, light blue, and electric orange is a bright orange that's darker than the kumquat color and more orange than pink citrus. The new cases are priced starting...
files app ipados 15

iPadOS 15: Files App Gains NTFS Support, Progress Indicator, and More

Tuesday June 15, 2021 3:41 am PDT by
Apple in iPadOS 15 has added the ability to access NTFS-formatted media from within the Files app. The additional support for the Windows-related format, first discovered by YouTuber Steven Fjordstrøm, is read-only, so like on macOS you can't modify files stored on NTFS devices, but you can at least copy any data on them for working on elsewhere on your iPad. The Files app has also gotten a...
apple virtual game controller ios 15

Apple Makes New On-Screen Game Controller Available to Developers on iOS 15 and iPadOS 15

Saturday June 12, 2021 12:36 pm PDT by
During the Platforms State of the Union at WWDC this week, Apple unveiled a new API for iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 that enables developers to implement an on-screen virtual game controller in their iPhone and iPad games with just a few lines of code. While many iPhone and iPad games already offer on-screen controls, Apple's new virtual game controller is available to all developers, easy to add,...
apple store palo alto

Apple Stores to Drop Mask Requirement for Vaccinated Customers This Week

Sunday June 13, 2021 11:31 am PDT by
Apple will no longer require vaccinated customers to wear masks inside their retail stores in the U.S, a major shift in policy compared to last month, according to Bloomberg. The new change, expected to go into effect on Tuesday, will no longer require customers who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to wear masks inside Apple Stores in the United States. Bloomberg notes that Apple...
nomad airtag wallet card 2

Nomad's Latest Accessory Makes It Easier to Put an AirTag in Your Wallet

Monday June 14, 2021 12:00 pm PDT by
Nomad, known for its range of accessories designed for Apple devices, today announced the Card for AirTag, which is designed to make it easier for an AirTag to fit inside a wallet for tracking purposes. With Card for AirTag, an AirTag fits inside the middle of a card-shaped holder that's then meant to fit inside of a wallet. According to Nomad, the design offers a smooth, uniform shape that...