The iTV. Next to the iWatch, it is perhaps the most hyped Apple device that doesn’t actually exist — Apple applying their design and engineering to a beautiful, internet-connected 4K television set. As far as we know, Apple has no plans to release such a device in the near future. According to newly released quotes from Steve Jobs, they never did.
At a yearly meeting of Apple’s top executives employees — the last Steve Jobs would preside over before his untimely death — the late CEO made it clear that he had no interest in seeing Apple pursue a television business. When asked by an employee during an open Q&A session, Jobs gave an emphatic “No” in regards to whether or not a television set was in Apple’s plans. He elaborated, saying that the turnover simply isn’t great enough and the profit margin is too low.
It’s true, Apple isn’t likely to find the same sort of money in television sets as it does in iPhones and iPads. These devices are upgraded on a consistent basis at a friendly margin for Apple. A television’s life cycle typically lasts some 8 years, and sets are sold with little wiggle room for profit.
With Jobs no longer calling the shots at Apple the company’s thinking could have changed. Sure, their other businesses generate enough revenue that Apple could float a less profitable TV business, but why bother? It would appear Cupertino’s sights are instead set on building out a content ecosystem for their Apple TV hardware, shaping it from the “hobby” product it started as to a real source of growth.
Recent months have seen the addition of many new content streams, and rumors point to the launch of revamped Apple TV hardware this year. The new device could also come with some sort of subscription television service as part of agreements between Apple and major cable and satellite providers.
Will we ever see that iTV? We wouldn’t completely rule it out now that Jobs has passed, but we wouldn’t expect it to launch in the near future.
TAGS: iTV, Steve Jobs