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Summary:

The only way to innovate in the TV industry is to make consumers want to pay full price for set-top boxes versus the ones they get virtually free, according to Apple CEO Steve Jobs. And the new Google TV doesn’t transcend that model, he says.

Steve Jobs at D8 by Asa Mathat | All Things Digital

Steve Jobs at D8 by Asa Mathat | All Things Digital

The only way to innovate in the TV industry is to make consumers want to pay full price for set-top boxes versus the ones they get virtually free, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in an interview tonight at D8, as live-blogged by Engadget and All Things D. Ideally, this break-through product wouldn’t be yet another box, but part of the TV. And by those definitions, Jobs’ logic (and his new attitude towards his former ally) says the new Google TV is not innovative.

“The television industry fundamentally has a subsidized business model that gives everyone a set-top box, and that pretty much undermines innovation in the sector. Ask TiVo, ask Roku, ask Google in a few months. The only way this is going to change is if you start from scratch, tear up the box, redesign and get it to the consumer in a way that they want to buy it. But right now, there’s no way to do that….The TV is going to lose until there’s a viable go-to-market strategy. That’s the fundamental problem with the industry. It’s not a problem with the technology, it’s a problem with the go-to-market strategy….I’m sure smarter people than us will figure this out, but that’s why we say Apple TV is a hobby.”

Jobs said Apple was unlikely to partner with a television provider as it partnered with carriers like AT&T to go to market. In other video-related comments from the session, he also said he expected the iPad to eventually be powerful enough to run video-editing software, and he reiterated his anti-Flash stance, saying HTML 5 video “looks better and it works better and you don’t need a plug-in to run it.”

Related content from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):

Google TV: Overview and Strategic Analysis

  1. Steve Jobs you are smart person. I like your ideas and the way you implement them practically.

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  2. Hare Krishna Tuesday, June 1, 2010

    This guy is fking brilliant!

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  3. Steve Jobs is right as always. But may be Google can offer anything in quite different format, so it will degress from the standart terms and definitions of the TV and improve it. I don’t know how but it would be interesting

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  4. Steve is not always right, he has had flopped products, as he says, Apple is a bunch of people trying to make products, just like Google, Sony Logitech. Let the market decide, I liked his interview today, he dint trash competition, he expressed his views.

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  5. So… what if the Apple TV would go the iMac way?
    Meaning they’ll just stick the Apple TV hardware into a big cinema display and sell it as a TV?
    Technically it should be no problem (dunno what a 50″ Cinema Display would cost though :D)

    Anybody besides me like that idea?

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    1. I’d highly recommend watching the Jobs video because he explains Apple’s stance about entering the TV market very well.

      But, from an outsiders point of view – the TV market stinks and Apple doesn’t want any part of it.

      Sure, they want to be in the living room (just like every other CE/PC company) but not with a me too product and single digit margins. I think Apple has a gross margin of over 40% last quarter – TVs sell with razor thin margins.

      No (practical) way to put the cable box / dvr / satellite receiver / dvd / blu-ray, etc. inside the TV.

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  6. [...] tiene el Apple TV y debe de ser uno de los productos peor entendidos o que peor se venden en Apple. Jobs comentó que “nadie quiere comprar una caja” haciendo referencia a todos los set-top box que hay [...]

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  7. How about a TV without wires and STBs and Dish.. A TV big enough for a canvas but mobile so that there is no connectivity hitches.. The “DIRECT SATELLITE TV”.. The dish and receivers are all inside the TV itself.. :) .. is this a reality I will live to see ??

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  8. For all his brilliance and his ability to portend the future, Steve Jobs may be proven wrong on this one. The emphasis on recreating the whole box and changing the way media is consumed might have worked for the audio (iPod) and the tablet (iPad) segments but might not work for a more mature, inherently non-mobile (and hence non flashy and non-cool) segment like Television. What Google is doing is an evolutionary thing: what Steve Jobs is talking about (and has often successfully implemented before) is a revolutionary thing. My bet is on the evolutionary before the revolutionary on this one.
    http://bit.ly/a2R1Uj

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  9. [...] tiene el Apple TV y debe de ser uno de los productos peor entendidos o que peor se venden en Apple. Jobs comentó que “nadie quiere comprar una caja” haciendo referencia a todos los set-top box que hay en el [...]

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