Steve Jobs On The Connected TV Space

Dave Zatz —  June 3, 2010 — 4 Comments

In addition to calling out bloggers and lying developers, CEO Steve Jobs provided insight into his Apple TV hobby and the connected television space at the All Things D (D8) conference earlier this week. Engadget did a nice job with an on-the-fly transcription from the event (below), but I highly recommend watching the video above – which fills in some gaps.

The market challenges and premium television provider chokehold Jobs describes should be familiar to most ZNF readers. But does his talk foreshadow something like Engadget’s iPad-esque Apple TV reboot or Techcrunch’s Apple television?

7:54PM Q: Hi, I’m from Hillcrest Labs… do you think it’s time to throw out the interface for TV? When will Apple do something there?

A: The problem with innovation in the TV industry is the go to market strategy. The TV industry has a subsidized model that gives everyone a set top box for free. So no one wants to buy a box. Ask TiVo, ask Roku, ask us… ask Google in a few months.

7:56PM Steve: So all you can do is ADD a box to the TV. You just end up with a table full of remotes, a cluster of boxes… and that’s what we have today. The only way that’s going to change is if you tear up the set top box, give it a new UI, and get it in front of consumers in a way they’re going to want it. The TV is going to lose in our eyes until there is a better go to market strategy… otherwise you’re just making another TiVo.

7:57PM Q: In the phone area you were able to partner with a carrier… would you do that with TV?

A: Well then there’s a problem, providers are local… it’s a Tower of Babel problem…

4 responses to Steve Jobs On The Connected TV Space

  1. Providers are local… to a point. But that hasn’t stopped other companies from making a living off the subsidized model. It’s just that Apple doesn’t want to be in that business. Too little control.

  2. I think this was one of the more interesting exchanges at D8. Not sure it tells us much about what if anything Apple will do in this space though. No STB? Well then you integrate an iTunes service into TVs where it can compete with Vudu and Netflix. Apple makes a little money selling shows streaming to those TVs. Not a game changer though. Or they build a WiDi like remote display device for the iPad hoping the tech eventually gets integrated into TVs. You run your ABC iPad app, watch video and project the display on your TV. With this approach you get apps. And photo browsing etc. And you sell more iPads.

    No I don’t see them making a DVR or integrating their tech into a Tivo or MOT or Cisco STB. Or making a TV like TechCrunch would have us all believe. Not gonna happen!

  3. I actually do want to add a box to my TV. A cheap box. One that I can throw out after 2 yrs. I do NOT want a $2000 TV with an embedded OS that gets outdated and I am left with a great expense having to replace it.

    I would love to see an updated Apple TV, but as it stands now I see Western Digital TV Live kicking the crap out of an Apple TV because of all the formats it can handle.

  4. Watching the exchange makes me have some doubts about the “cloud” appletv.

    Steve Jobs was wrong about one thing: there are two national providers: dish and directv.

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