A report by The Wall Street Journal indicates Apple dropped their plans to build a full-blown television set more than a year ago. The publication, citing sources with knowledge of Apple’s plans, says the company spent more than ten years working to develop an ultra-high definition set, only to drop the plan because it couldn’t come up with any breakthrough features that justify an Apple-branded set.
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.
Apple also reportedly investigated using a transparent display that used lasers to display images, but power requirements and poor image quality led them to drop that idea. Apple executives finally decided none of those features were compelling enough to enter the highly-competitive market.
The Journal’s report comes on the heels of comments from activist investor Carl Icahn, who said he believes Apple will dominate both the television and automotive markets, introducing large screen TV sets in 2016, and a vehicle in 2020.
Rumors about an Apple-branded television set have circulated for years, fueled by the 2011 Steve Jobs biography, where writer Walter Isaacson wrote about Jobs’ interest in the television industry, quoting him as saying, “I finally cracked it.”
Apple is expected to debut a revamped Apple TV set-top streaming box at their upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference on June 8. The Wall Street Journal warns the unveiling hinges on whether Apple can complete deals with media companies.
The new Apple TV is expected to boast a faster processor, more on-board storage, Siri support, an App Store, and a redesigned look. Also expected is a streaming television service that will offer 25 channels, and is expected to cost around $30 per month.