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

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Aug 31, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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."

    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.

    Article Link: Steve Jobs Planned to Work on Apple TV Set After Stepping Down as Apple CEO
  2. farewelwilliams macrumors 68020

    Jun 18, 2014
  3. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    And Jobs likely would have re-invented the t.v. Industry. He still is the face of modern technology today.
  4. AllergyDoc macrumors 68000


    Mar 17, 2013
    Utah, USA
    I bet Jobs could've got it done through force of will and pure ambition.
  5. Jimmy James macrumors 601

    Jimmy James

    Oct 26, 2008
    Agreed. You have to think he might have pulled it off.
  6. thekeyring macrumors 68040

    Jan 5, 2012
    It'd be interesting to know if it was simply a set running tvOS with the current remote + Siri functions.

    I know a lot of people weren't that impressed, but imagine the product built directly into a TV set in 2011/early 2012.

    I noticed recently that not many people are happy with broadcast TV. My in laws regularly go through the TV Guide on their Sky+ box and record things. Then whenever they want to watch TV they have a load of shows 'on demand'. You really want the TV to take care of the first part for you.

    Fair enough I need to pay for Comedy Central, but give me everything on demand. Then I can't fast forward the ads, so they'll be worth more. Give it to me to view on my iPhone and Mac while we're at it. Having things broadcast seems like a really odd way to do things.
  7. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604


    Sep 8, 2002
    The Netherlands
    Finally cracked it...

    Maybe Seve did, but he couldn't pass the magic on, I'm afraid.
  8. DotCom2 macrumors 601

    Feb 22, 2009
  9. djcerla macrumors 68000


    Apr 23, 2015
    Hardware-wise a possible way to do it is to build an Apple TV set top box that attaches to the back of the body of the screen via magnets; the same set top box that would work standalone could provide the brains for the TV set, and be upgraded on the cheap as technology improves.

    The body could contain additional SSD space, other than the panel itself.
  10. Lapidus macrumors regular


    May 14, 2012
    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..
  11. ILuvEggplant Suspended


    Jul 28, 2016
    Los Angeles, CA
    what did steve jobs say on his death bed?

    Jumpin' Jehosephat! I figured it out!

    All jokes aside Apple Tv hasn't lived up to the quality that is expected of an apple product.

    So much potential yet so fail.
  12. bkaus macrumors regular

    Sep 26, 2014
    Or maybe he did and this is what we get. It's unlikely he didn't tell anyone.
  13. azentropy macrumors 68020


    Jul 19, 2002
    I still think TV would be a much better product category than Watch. Although I don't think an Apple branded TV is the answer. Don't think you are going to convince people to replace TV's every 2-3 years. But a relatively inexpensive set top box would be a much bigger reoccurring market. Just wish the AppleTV did more. While a nice product it really is what they should have released 3-4 years ago. There is so much more it should be able to do by now.
  14. zorinlynx macrumors 603


    May 31, 2007
    Florida, USA
    Apple doesn't need to make a TV. There's plenty of companies in this market. Competition is fierce, and it's doubtful Apple will succeed with the profit margins they want and expect from their other product lines.

    They should just focus on the Apple TV. The ATV4 is a wonderful little box. I'm absolutely in love with mine and use it all the time! I even take it on trips with me to use in hotel rooms because it's so small and portable.
  15. Cineplex macrumors 6502a


    Jan 1, 2016
    Steve would have made the deals and got everyone to participate. The music business didn't go along with Apple because it was Apple, Jobs' salesman ship and passion sold it in the end. Tim Cook just doesn't have the magic and that is why Apple is not anything special right now. Without Steve they are just riding the success train and at some point, it will run out of track.
  16. MH01 Suspended


    Feb 11, 2008
    I really like my ATV4, it does the job.

    Though adding an App Store to ATV3 is just lazy. Im confident Steve had a better solution he was working on, that would have turned the ATV into a mainstream product and not a "hobby" category . Guess we will never know as the ATV continues to be a minor product for apple.
  17. fitshaced macrumors 68000


    Jul 2, 2011
    No disrespect to him but I think thats a great way to go. 'I finally cracked it, the key to human super powers is to use.... use... f*!k' beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep
  18. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    A television, hardware wise, is basically a slab of screen that you watch stuff on.

    But in terms of software, it needs three main things to put itself above the competition: an intuitive UI, as much content as you can imagine, and consolidation of content in one place. I don't think paying 5 different providers for content, which you just happen to access on one device, was Steve's vision.

    Not to say it would have been any different had Steve still been here. After all, it's the providers calling the shots with who gets what, and how much people pay for that. Having the perfect vision doesn't always mean it can be achieved if everybody plays hardball.
  19. cmichaelb macrumors 68020


    Aug 6, 2008
    Gene Munster must feel somewhat vindicated LOL.

    Maybe the current Apple tv is a step in that direction, and they are still perfecting their model. It makes mention of iCloud, maybe they are still building out the behind the scenes infrastructure. Who knows?
  20. _mdavenport macrumors regular


    Aug 23, 2015
    California, USA
    Very interesting to think about what the tv would be had Jobs not passed. I think I remember reading somewhere that he didn't want to get into the television set market because the "margins suck," so maybe the set-top box would still have been the way to go. I'd imagine at the very least that the 4th-gen tv would have launched with some of the features that are yet to come out in the next version of tvOS (universal log-in, etc.), and that the Siri Remote iPhone app would have been available at launch. And of course, all of the features now present would have somehow been 10X more dazzling if Steve had presented them at the keynote :)
  21. martinX macrumors 6502a


    Aug 11, 2009
    Once I step back from work, I intend to work on my TV set, too. I swear I will get that mess of cables sorted out one day.
  22. cmichaelb macrumors 68020


    Aug 6, 2008
    My Samsung tv has an upgradable 'connect box' as they call it. Very much like what you are suggesting.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 31, 2016 ---
    I imagine the set top box would have HDMI pass through and the apple software would overlay the screen and become your guide, tuner,, dvr control etc..
  23. _mdavenport macrumors regular


    Aug 23, 2015
    California, USA
    Perhaps Jobs would have entertained us all with an open letter entitled, "Thoughts About TV Content" in the wake of the failed negotiations :)
  24. cube macrumors P6

    May 10, 2004
    TVs have a lot of wasted electronics for many people. What they need is cheaper advanced monitors.
  25. citi macrumors 65816


    May 2, 2006
    Simi Valley, CA
    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.

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