“I’d like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use,” said Jobs. “It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud. It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine.”
That set the tech world aflame. It suggested Apple was ready to go after the television market and save us from the clunky experiences delivered by cable and satellite companies.
Two years later, though, and absolutely no change in TV, it’s clear Apple wasn’t all that close to cracking the TV market.
In fact, the latest batch of reporting on Apple’s attempts to do something in TV makes only one thing clear: Apple has no idea what it’s going to do.
The latest report from Brian Stelter at New York Times says Apple is trying to do a little bit of this, a little bit of that, trying to figure out what’s possible and what’s impossible.
Apple is talking to pay-TV distributors like Time Warner Cable about running its channels through its Apple TV box. It’s getting individual networks like ESPN, HBO, and Sky News to add applications for the Apple TV.
It’s also talking to networks about selling a premium TV service that would let users skip commercials with Apple kicking the money back to networks.
Apple might run everything through its little streaming box, the Apple TV, or it might sell a full television with its software baked into it.
There’s reports of Apple using Siri to control the TV. There’s reports of Apple acquiring the motion technology company that was key for Microsoft’s Kinect. There’s even talk of Apple developing a wearable iRing to control the TV.
Some of the reports could be nonsense, but it’s unlikely people are just making things up out of thin air. There must be some basis for these stories.
Add it all up, and it just looks like Apple is trying everything to figure out what it can do with television, which makes Jobs claim that he cracked the tv market all the more curious.
Either he cracked it and forgot to tell anyone how he cracked it. Or, the current group of executives decided his theory didn’t make any sense. Or, the content companies, cable companies, and satellite companies saw his vision and decided they didn’t like, so they’re doing all they can to block it.
Whatever the case may be, it’s looking like Apple’s television isn’t coming very soon.
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