Apple quietly shelved plans to make its own TV set more than a year ago

Rumors of Apple working on its own television set got louder when, Walter Isaacson wrote in Steve Job’s biography that Jobs told him that he had finally cracked user interface for a television set. If you were one of the believers of the rumor that Apple is going to launch it’s own television set in coming years, then there’s a bad news for you.

The Wall Street Journal, based on its sources familiar to the matter, reports that Apple quietly cancelled plans to launch its own branded television set more than a year.
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The report claims that Apple executives could not find a revolutionary feature in their television set to justify their entry into a market which is already highly competitive because of likes of Samsung Electronic Co.. Apple typically enters into new markets with an innovative product, like it did when entered smartphone and tablet market.

Apple had searched for breakthrough features to justify building an Apple-branded television set, those people said. In addition to an ultra-high-definition display, Apple considered adding sensor-equipped cameras so viewers could make video calls through the set, they said.

Ultimately, though, Apple executives didn’t consider any of those features compelling enough to enter the highly competitive television market, led by Samsung Electronics Co. Apple typically likes to enter a new product area with innovative technology and easier-to-use software.

The report also claims that Apple also developed a transparent glass-like display when it’s turned off, but used lasers to display image when turned on. But the idea could not get past the prototyping phase as the picture quality was very poor and the device was a power-hog.

Apple also experimented FaceTime like video calling feature by installing cameras in the television. The TV also had the function of detecting who was talking and directed the the camera to the talking person. This feature also failed to impress Apple executives as a compelling one to market the TV.

Apple was rumored to be working on an iOS base television set, which could integrate Siri for voice control functionality, getting rid of the traditional remote control.
[WSJ]

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