Since Apple entered the TV market with its Apple TV set top box way back in 2007, we’ve seen rumor after rumor pointing to an eventual TV set from the Cupertino company.
At almost every possible juncture, Apple has been quizzed on its plans for a fully-fledged TV with senior staff repeating the party line that Apple TV is simply a “hobby” for the company.
In more recent years, the speculation was stoked by a line in Steve Jobs official biography in which Jobs claimed to have “cracked” the TV experience. Later, current CEO Tim Cook also said that it was now “difficult to call Apple TV a hobby” since it became a billion dollar business for the company.
All the rumors and speculation have not been completely baseless, but it seems the company is no longer interested in developing an Apple television set. From the Wall Street Journal:
Investor Carl Icahn said he expects Apple Inc. to introduce an ultra-high-definition television in 2016. But after nearly a decade of research, Apple quietly shelved plans to make such a set more than a year ago, according to people familiar with the matter.
The WSJ report claims Apple began research into the television market 10 years ago but has never been able to create something that was a “breakthrough” or enough to differentiate it from competitors’ offerings.
Apple apparently toyed with 4K panels, using a transparent laser-powered display adding sensor-equipped cameras (think PrimeSense) that can adjust to capture the speaker’s face during FaceTime calls. None of those features were “compelling enough” and the project was shelved last year.
The project has not been totally killed off, according to the report, but the team has been disbanded and its members distributed to other areas of the business.
Apple TV concept by Martin Hajek
Apple in the mean time focused on revamping its set top box offering, the results of which we expect to see at next month’s WWDC. Along with a new remote control, the new puck will allow the Apple Watch to work as a primary in put method and there’s also the likelihood of third-party app developers being given access to an SDK to make their own apps for the device.