Wednesday, April 21, 2021

JOBS: APPLE TV IS STILL “A HOBBY”

June 2, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Apple chief Steve Jobs appeared to scotch persistent rumors that the company was planning to update its AppleTV settop box and go head-to-head against Google TV. Appearing at the All Things Digital conference in Palos Verdes, CA on Tuesday, Jobs said that the difficulty in marketing such a device prevents Apple from devoting much attention to it. “The television industry fundamentally has a subsidized business model that gives everybody a settop box for free, or for $10 a month, and that pretty much squashes any opportunity for innovation,” he said, “because nobody’s willing to buy a settop box.” That is a problem that other companies besides Apple have tried to come to grips with, he suggested. “Ask TiVo, ask ReplayTV, ask Roku, ask us, ask Google in a few months. Sony’s tried as well. Panasonic’s tried. A lot of people tried. They all failed.” Jobs said that there is no alternative for consumer electronics companies other than to offer an additional settop box to the ones that consumers already own. “Well, you just wind up with a table full of remotes, full of boxes. … The only way that’s ever going to change is if you can really go back to square one and tear up the settop box and redesign it from scratch with a consistent [user interface] across all these different functions and get it to the consumer in a way that they’re willing to pay for it. And right now there’s no way to do that. So that’s the problem with the TV market.” Asked why Apple couldn’t partner with a cable company the way it had with AT&T with the iPhone, Jobs said, “There isn’t a cable operator that’s national. There’s a bunch of cable operators. And then it’s not like there’s a [mobile phone] standard where you build a phone for the U.S. and it also works in all these other countries. No, every single country has different standards, different government approvals. It’s very … balkanized. … That’s why when we say AppleTV is a hobby, that’s why we use that phrase.”