Steve Jobs didn’t want Apple to make TVs

Mar 16, 2014
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Steve Jobs didn’t want Apple to make TVs

A year before he died, Steve Jobs let it be known to Apple's top 100 employees that the company should not release a TV as its next product. This revelation came from Yukari Iwatani Kane, Wall Street Journal's former Apple beat reporter and author of a new book about Apple's post-Jobs days.

The previously unknown remark was made during Jobs' last "Top 100" meeting where Apple's top 100 executives and employees are whisked away to an undisclosed resort. Here reports are made and new products are revealed. Naturally, the event is held in utmost secrecy, with employees forbidden from making even the slightest hint to the outside world.

According to Yukari, Jobs was already visibly sick during the 2010 meeting, and it showed in his less than aggressive grilling of employees, not his usual tactic. On the last day, Jobs was reported to have invited all participants to ask him questions, without fear or hesitation. It is at this moment that someone asked about plans for an Apple-made TV, which was already the subject of many rumors and speculations. And Jobs flatly answered "No".

Jobs' reasons weren't based on a whim. He saw that TVs were a terrible business. Unlike smartphones or even tablets, which people are more likely to replace every two years or so, TV didn't turn over so quickly and the margins were likewise unsatisfying. Anyone who has been observing even the more popular TV manufacturers scramble to make a profit will most likely see the wisdom in one of Steve Jobs' last exhortations to the company's top brass.

Unfortunately, Jobs' message wasn't completely understood by everyone. While some took his words to their literal interpretation, a good number wondered if Jobs only meant for Apple not to focus on a TV just yet, perhaps leaving the door open for the future. Biographer Walter Isaacson even claims that near his death, Jobs gave clear indications that he has finally "cracked" the ultimate plan for an integrated television set. Given how Apple seems to have made turns and decisions that some believe would have made Jobs turn in his grave, a big screen Apple device in the living room could still become reality.

SOURCE: Business Insider


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