Steve Jobs says Apple TV will remain a hobby, we don’t think so

Steve Jobs may not have given us any more clues about iPhone 4.0, other than revealing his side of the story on the iPhone 4.0 leak, but his early morning All Things D interview did throw some light on the future of Apple TV and what he thinks of Google TV. Clue: not much. But while it seems like the Apple supremo is pouring cold water on the idea of super-charging Apple TV, is it just another one of his now infamous sleights of hand?

We predicted yesterday that Steve Jobs would damn Google TV and so he did. He said the problem is that operators like Sky and Virgin Media give out heavily subsidised set top boxes. He says: “Give everybody a set top box for free or for $10 a month and that pretty much squashes any opportunity for innovation.”

He then listed projects that face the problem: “Ask Tivo, ask Replay TV, ask Roku, ask Vudu, ask us, ask Google in a few months.” Looks like that Google TV Sony Internet Box that bounced into view won’t be making it into the Jobs living room any time soon.

But while Steve Jobs pooh-poohed the idea of Google TV, we can’t help but read between the lines. As we recalled yesterday, he told the All Things D audience in 2003: “There are no plans to make a tablet. It turns out people want keyboards…we look at the tablet and we think it is going to fail.”

Now Steve Jobs says: “I’m sure smarter people than us will figure this out, but that’s why we say Apple TV is a hobby.” Somehow we just don’t believe him, particularly that part about “smarter people”.

After denying that Apple was working on the iPhone, then claiming that it wasn’t developing the iPad, suggesting that TV just doesn’t interest him would complete the most recent Steve Jobs trifecta of misdirection.

He made it very clear in the same interview that Apple is going for Google and it’s seriously unlikely that he’ll let the search giant’s upcoming foothold in our living rooms go unchallenged.

The rumours of an updated Apple TV running the iPhone OS ring true and Apple should go even further putting its tech into a fully-fledged TV set to give the Internet-enabled sets from manufacturers like Sony and Toshiba a real run for their money.

Let us know: do you think Steve Jobs is pulling a fast one when he says Apple TV will remain a hobby? Or will we see Apple delivering an uppercut to Google TV and friends in the very near future?

Due TBC | £TBC | Apple ?

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