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Steve Jobs on TV: 'no one wants to buy a box'

Ross Miller
June 1, 2010
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Well isn't that a breath of fresh air. With no apologies given to its long-standing hobby, Apple CEO Steve Jobs provided a pretty honest and thorough assessment of what's wrong with the TV set-top box market. "No one wants to buy a box -- ask TiVo, ask Roku, ask us... ask Google in a few months" (in the spirit of competition, of course). In Jobs' opinion, "the only way that's going to change is if you tear up the [box], give it a new UI, and get it in front of consumers in a way they're going to want it." Frankly, we're pretty happy how quickly and succinctly he was able to respond in a Q &A session, seems like he's been mulling it over -- and given what we heard about Apple TV's future plans, we're not surprised. All the pertinent quotes, care of our liveblog, after the break.



"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?"

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.

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. [you can't just partner with providers because] providers are local... it's a Tower of Babel problem...




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