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New Book Reveals Steve Jobs ‘Said No To Apple TV’

Steve Jobs wasn’t in favour of an Apple television set. Does that mean the company won’t pursue it?

“TV is a terrible business. They don’t turn over and the margins suck.”

Asked who might have said such a thing, it is unlikely Steve Jobs would be top of anybody’s list. Given that there has been speculation for years about whether tech giant Apple would ever move into the television market with its own appliance, it seems that brand fans around the world have been waiting to hear the opposite.

But reports suggest that the company’s co-founder said exactly these lines around a year before he died, suggesting that Apple may never have been planning to produce a TV set in the first place.

According to a new book – Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs - penned by former Wall Street Journal reporter Yukari Iwatani Kane, Steve Jobs emphatically stated that the company would not be developing Apple TV around a year before he died at one of the company’s secretive ‘Top 100’ meetings. One hundred of the company’s senior executives, managers and staff were invited to a closed-off location where they would discuss the future of the company, with strictly no mobile phones, email or tweeting allowed inside.

Presentations are usually given and new products are often revealed at these meetings, so expectations may already have been high. But in the closing stages of the meeting, Mr Jobs apparently told the assembled Apple staff to ask him anything they wanted without fear of offending him. Naturally, he was asked about the rumours of that a TV was in the works.

Three years later Apple has stuck to its founder’s word – there’s still no TV. But he also said that there were other ways to get into home entertainment, and the product which is now known as Apple TV has done exactly that. A little box that gets plugged into an existing set to allow high-definition video streaming has much higher margins and lower production costs than a full-size appliance, after all.

Even so, as Business Insider points out, Mr Jobs told his biographer Walter Isaacson that creating an integrated TV set was one of his ambitions. Specifically, he said that he wanted to see a TV that could sync with other Apple devices and cloud storage service iCloud – a setup that would stand a good chance of pulling in a large chunk of Apple’s loyal brand fans who are already using iPods and iPads. Which way the company will take Mr Jobs’ legacy, remains to be seen.

<Image courtesy James Mitchell/Some rights reserved>


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