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Steve Jobs: Google TV Will Go the Way of TiVo and Roku

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 (s aapl) 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. (s goog)

“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 (s 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.” [digg=]

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

Google TV: Overview and Strategic Analysis

23 Responses to “Steve Jobs: Google TV Will Go the Way of TiVo and Roku”

  1. annonymous_man

    Yeah Steve Jobs is brilliant. Its worth noting though he left out Divx TV in that comment. He said there is no viable go to market strategy in television since most people can get a set top box for free from a TV provider or pay $10 a month for such a box they won’t buy one: ask Tivo, ask Replay TV, ask us, ask Vudu, ask Roku, ask Google in a couple months… but he didn’t mention Divx TV!

  2. Whine whine whine Steve Jobs that his Apple TV hobby crashed and burned. This man just has to always knock others. Well, back at ya- 2 million, iPhone MaxiPad or is it Macbook Nanos, in 2 months? That’s it? After all the overhype? Aren’t there more Apple fanbois than that? 30 million netbooks sold last year, and 50 million this year, Steve

    • Wow Logic

      Whether or not you agree with steve, notice how every phone is now touchscreen?

      Notice how everyone else is rushing to built these flat panel tablets?

      See, Steve can see the future – you can’t. If we relied on folks like yourself for innovation there wouldn’t be any. Those that are incapable of accepting or promoting change cannot change.

      I bet you still use a desktop PC don’t you.

      • Every phone now a touchscreen? Wrong. Most phones sold don’t have a touchscreen. Period.

        Rushing to build flat panel tablets? Wrong. Tablets, flat panel for years, evolve, without the hyperboles, to incorporate better technologies, like Android. Recently announced tablets are not coming out for a while. So instead of supposed rushing, manufacturers are
        following the usual product release progression. What was rushed is the half-baked iPad, shelved for years in favor of the iPhone, and finally released in reaction to the netbook. Netbook still cost less
        and does more than the iPad. See the iPad try to catch up to tablets released after it, just like iPhone 4.0 is tired and boring even
        before its release.

        Steve can see the future alright, and he’s panicking that the iPhone, on which Apple’s fortunes are now largely tied, has been eclipsed by
        Android. He’s so losing it that he’s lashing out at others that he ought to work with, further locking himself and his trinkets in his walled garden. Steve’s only innovation is overhype marketing of his
        overpriced trinkets, but he can’t innovate himself out of his paranoid command and control DNA, thus he is again relegated to a niche in mobile, just like he’s a niche in desktop.

        And yes, I do use a Windows XP desktop PC, among others.

  3. veggiedude

    Who says the iPad has to be powerful enough to do video-editing? The iPad can serve as the interface, but the actual processing could be done on a server. Ever heard of cloud computing?

  4. Sure wish I’d known that Apple TV was just a “hobby” before I’d shelled out hundreds of bucks for one. I wonder what other hobbies Jobs is currently marketing as serious products?

  5. 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.

  6. vijiram

    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 ??

  7. 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?

    • sfmitch

      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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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