Steve Jobs Was Still Working on an Apple-Branded TV After He Stepped Down as CEO

Apple TV's tvOS

Journalist Walt Mossberg had a lot of conversations with Apple’s co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs, and apparently one of them included a brief hint at Apple’s plans for a self-branded TV set.

It’s not a secret at this point that Apple has worked on a TV set for years, but, up to this point, hasn’t been able to find footing to make headway into the market. As a result, the Cupertino-based company has put an even bigger focus on the set-top box, the Apple TV, pushing out tvOS with an App Store integrated into it, and plenty of other new features.

But it’s been a focus for Apple, at least behind-the-scenes for many years, to a point where, apparently, Steve Jobs himself was still going to work on the project even after he stepped down as Apple’s CEO. The story was recounted recently by Recode speaking with Mossberg, and how the journalist got very close to seeing what Jobs was working on at the time.

“He was going to still be involved. Their press release made some vague nod toward that. But he wanted me to know that he was going to be involved in big strategic things, and also that he was going to reserve one particular thing for himself.”

“I said, ‘well, what’s that?’”

“He said, ‘Well, it’s television … I think we figured out a way to do it, and it’s going to be fantastic. I want you to come out, in a few months, and I want to show it to you.’”

Jobs didn’t go into details about the hardware and the programming Jobs wanted it to carry. But Mossberg believes he was talking about an integrated set, not a version of the set-top box Apple sells today.”

Mossberg adds that Jobs seemed legitimately excited about the project as a whole, and he felt like he was right on the edge of reinventing the TV industry as a whole. However, Jobs never got a chance to do that, as he would die from pancreatic cancer soon after that conversation with Mossberg.

Since then, Apple’s current efforts in launching an Apple-branded TV set have not panned out, nor has the company’s rumored efforts in launching packaged TV channels at a lower cost than what most people are paying for their cable subscriptions, plus access to streaming platforms. It was most recently reported that Apple’s negotiations were the cause of TV networks not jumping on board.

Still, rumors and reports that Apple is, at the very least, working on TV packages is still alive and kicking. As for the standalone TV set, however, those have quieted down as of recently. Whether or not Apple has decided to give up on the idea remains to be seen, but if Jobs was as passionate about the TV as he was about any other landmark, market-shifting product Apple has launched in the past, the future could certainly be interesting.

The full account is certainly worth the read. Check it out below.

[via Recode]