Jobs himself publicly downplayed Apple’s public TV efforts as a “hobby”; in 2010, Jobs told Mossberg and Kara Swisher that Apple couldn’t really get into TV because there was no “viable go-to-market strategy.” The same year, he reportedly said the same thing internally, adding that “TV is a terrible business. They don’t turn over and the margins suck.”
But in 2011, Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson famously wrote that Jobs was working on TVs late in his life, and that he thought he had “cracked it.”
I’ve worked with Walt Mossberg for many years, but I’d never heard him talk about his TV conversation with Jobs before. Then last week, Mossberg wrote a Facebook post referring to a “secret project [Jobs] planned to continue to run” after he left his CEO job.
I called him this week to get the full story. Here it is…