Jobs Talks About Tearing Up the Set-top Box
"The only way that's ever gonna change is if you can really go back to square one and tear up the set-top box and redesign it from scratch with a consistent UI across all of these different functions and get it to the consumer in a way they're willing to pay for it," Jobs said. "And right now, there's no way to do that... The TV is going to lose until there is a viable go-to-market strategy." Could Apple be planning to do just this to answer Google's new foray into television?Meanwhile, the more analysts look at Google TV, the more skeptical they seem to become. Altimeter Group's Michael Gartenberg wrote on Engadget May 30 that Google TV could become the next WebTV, which crashed and burned when Microsoft launched it years ago. While Jobs said users don't need another box, Gartenberg noted that Sony already tried and failed selling TV sets integrated with the type of TiVo functionality Google TV aims to provide. He also dismissed Google's suggestion that Google TV is different because it lets users access the whole Web, including their Android applications from their TVs. He noted that the consumers don't want the whole Web and its millions of apps on their TVs. "Consumers are looking for a different type of connected experience in their living rooms, and it's one that so far has defied every attempt to merge the TV and PC," Gartenberg added. "Google TV just feels like the latest in a long line of niche products more likely to appeal to the enthusiast than to the mass market." And that recalls Apple TV, completing the circle.
There have been rumors that Apple will make its Apple TV "hobbyist" product run iPhone 4.0 operating system and cost $99. That would be something a little out of the box, but certainly not the same thing as rebuilding the set-top box.