Why not? Emotions aside, it’s math. Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs, a master at zigging and zagging, dissing a feature or product, while spurring Apple’s engineers to build one anyway, put it bluntly.
TV By The Numbers
Here’s the problem. Apple’s customers love the company’s products so much we want their vaunted design team to tackle the rest of the world.
Boy, oh boy, what could Apple do to the automobile industry? Wait. Tesla is already doing it, Apple style. What about televisions?
Yes, we’d love to see an Apple designed television but it will not happen because of, well, math.
Think about it. A branded 46-inch HD flatscreen television with so-called smarts and internet connectivity sells for about the same as an iPhone.
What can Apple bring to a TV that Samsung hasn’t already brought? And Samsung, the only Android-based smartphone and tablet maker to make profits of significance, admits profits on TVs are razor thin.
Maybe Apple’s Steve Jobs said it best.
TV is a terrible business. They don’t turn over and the margins suck.
Apple is in the high turnover and high margins business so why would the company venture into an industry which has notoriously low turnover and lower than low margins?
See? It’s math.
Wait a minute. Didn’t Jobs also say that 7-inch tablets were too small and a lousy tablet experience. Yes. Then Apple launched the 7-inch iPad mini to the tune of tens of millions each quarter.
Perhaps Jobs believed the 7-inch tablet form factor to be too small for a good tablet experience, but he changed his mind. Or, more likely, he dissed the 7-inch model hoping to stunt sales of competitors until Apple’s iPad mini was ready to ship.
Math, people. Televisions are not smartphones or tablets. On average, when people buy a television they stick with it eight to 10 years before replacing it with a newer model. iPhones and iPads turnover every few years. Televisions make up a cutthroat market with enormous competition and price pressure, even with premium brands like Samsung. What can Apple add to a TV that Samsung, Vizio, et al cannot?
So, in a simple recap, the television industry has low product turnover and very low margins, the opposite of Apple’s typical business segment which is fast turnover and very high margins.
Wait another minute. Didn’t Steve Jobs tell this to his biographer?
I’d like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use,’ he told me. It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud. No longer would users have to fiddle with complex remotes for DVD players and cable channels. It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.
Yes, he did say that (according to Walter Isaacson, the biographer). And I want a Bentley convertible, a Godiva chocolate making machine, and a pony. None of that will ever happen and neither will an Apple television.