Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Steve Jobs on TV's go-to-market problem

December 23, 2011: 8:28 AM ET

He laid out the reasons NOT to build an Apple television at All Things D in 2010

Jobs at All Things D8

There's been a lot of talk about Apple (AAPL) launching a full-fledged interactive television ever since Walter Isaacson quoted Steve Jobs saying he'd "finally cracked it."

But before the company can successfully market such a product, it must overcome the formidable hurdles that Jobs laid out the year before he died at All Things D8.

He was asked in a Q&A what was needed to fix television's broken interface. It's not a problem of technology or vision, Jobs replied. It's the lack of a viable go-to-market strategy.

"The television industry," he explained, "has a subsidized business model that gives everybody a set top box for free or for $10 a month. And that pretty much squashes any opportunity for innovation."

Below: All Things D's video.

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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