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Where Does the Apple TV Go From Here?
By: Fast Company
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It’s fair to say that the Apple TV is the device that’s had the hardest time finding a place as a "must-have" in Apple’s ecosystem. It’s always seemed to be more of an accessory to Apple’s more popular Macs, iPhones, iPads, and iPods than a standalone gadget that was designed—as the others were, for computers, phones, tablets, and music players, respectively—with a clear vision to show consumers and competitors what the gold standard for a digital media player should be. And you can mostly blame Steve Jobs for that.

Back in September 2006, when Jobs first showed off the then named "iTV," he called the device a "hobby"—that is, something you do on the side, but don’t necessarily have the desire to turn it into something bigger. Clarifying his remarks about the device the following year at the D2007 conference, Jobs said:
We're in two businesses today. We'll be very shortly in three businesses and a hobby. One is our Mac business, second is our music business, third business is the phone business—handsets. And the hobby is the Apple TV. The reason I call it a hobby is a lot of people have tried and failed to make it a business. It's a business that's hundreds of thousands of units per year but it hasn't crested to be millions of units per year, but I think if we improve things we can crack that.
In other words, the original Apple TV is probably the only device Apple ever released where Steve Jobs didn’t have a clear, grand vision for what it was supposed to be. For years after its original January 2007 retail launch, the Apple TV languished when it came to the regular feature improvements and hardware updates that Apple’s other devices saw on an annual basis. Between its unveiling in 2006 and the launch of the newest, fourth-generation Apple TV in October 2015, the Apple TV only saw one dramatic hardware change (over nine years!), from the first- to second-generation Apple TV, and just one major software change, with the advent of the fourth-generation Apple TV and its tvOS operating system.

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About the Author
This article was published on Fast Company. A link to the original piece appears after the post. www.fastcompany.com
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