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.”
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