It’s been a long running rumour that Apple was introducing a TV, not Apple TV, but the large screen television with an Apple logo. Apple transformed it’s business with the launch of the iPhone and iPad and many suspected the Apple HDTV would be the next market to feel the Apple’s revolution.
Current set-top-boxes fail to execute on the connected experience that consumers have demanded for years and Apple was set to finally do this right. Unfortunately even the might of Cupertino and it’s hundreds of billions in cash wasn’t enough to get the job done.
Lead User Experience Designer at Apple, Angela Baxley said “the challenges of the living room are no longer a key focus for the company. We have some amazing products in the pipeline, but development on the Apple HDTV has ceased.”
Baxley went on to say that the decision was a difficult one, but after lengthy negotiations with entertainment providers, the deals required to deliver on the high-quality experience Apple customers demand, we not forthcoming. So it seems Hollywood is the real blocker in this area. We’ve already seen plenty of other attempts blocked by the same problem. Boxee Box famously became significantly less useful after Hulu actively blocked their service on the device.
Walter Isaacson’s biography of the late Steve Jobs, included the topic of the Apple TV. Isaacson said that before he died, Jobs had not only confirmed the TV was in development, but that he had ‘finally cracked it’. While detail was light on, the widely held understanding of what he meant, was that he was successful in contract negotiations required to execute on a visionary UI to change the way consumers interact with their home entertainment systems. It seems now a few years on, that negotiations have now fallen apart and the Apple TV is now dead.
One saving grace, was that Apple suggested consumers should ‘watch closely’, a brand new entertainment start-up out of Palo Alto that set to launch on April 1, 2014.