Long-predicted, if the Apple TV -- we mean a real television set -- ever shows up in retail stores, it won't be because Steve Jobs wanted it. A report emerging in Business Insider on Sunday said that prior to his death, Jobs told his top executives he had no plan to release a television because it's "a bad business."
The info comes via the new book, "Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs," which will be released on March 18. In it, author Yukari Iwatani Kane, the Wall Street Journal's former Apple beat reporter.
Accordinding to Kane, this happened at Apple's 2010 "Top 100" meeting. This was Jobs' final "Top 100" meeting. The meeting gathers the company's top 100 executives, managers, and employees for a secretive get-together.
Jobs, who looked sick and weak and didn't "chew out employees during their presentations like he normally did," did get a little annoyed at all the attention given to the iPad 2's new Smart Cover, as to the iPad 2.
Enough with the f***ing cover! Can we talk about the iPad?
Later, he took questions, saying
You've got Steve Jobs sitting right here. You're my guys, you can ask me anything you want. I don't care how dumb it is or how insulting it is. I want to make you all feel comfortable about whatever questions you have about the company.
One person asked if Apple was going to release a television -- there were already many rumors that it was Apple's next project.
Jobs didn't skip a beat, quickly saying,
No. TV is a terrible business. They don't turn over and the margins suck.
The margins do indeed suck, and that isn't mere speculation. It's this fact that has led many to believe that Apple would not enter the HDTV business.
In addition, televisions are replaced on average every eight years. This differs greatly from smartphones, which -- based on teardowns -- are very profitable, and which are replaced on a more frequent basis (despite penalties, some even will do so annually).
Apple analyst Gene Munster has been a loud proponent of an Apple TV, saying an Apple HDTV could generate $2.6 billion in revenue in its first year on the market. However, he predicted it would be available by late 2013, but, it never happened.
This report is in start contrast to what his biographer Walter Isaacson said Jobs told him Isaacson wrote that prior to Jobs' death, he said
I’d like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use ... It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud ... It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.