"TV is a terrible business. They don't turn over and the margins suck," Steve Jobs remarked during a 2010 meeting of Apple's (AAPL +0.5%) top 100 employees, according to ex-Apple beat reporter Yukari Iwatani Kane's Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs (previous).
However, Jobs expressed an interest in controlling the living room. In 2011, Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson quoted the Apple co-founder as saying he'd like to "create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use."
While predictions of an Apple TV set launch have been consistently off, the Apple TV set-top has turned into a $1B/year business (after factoring content spend), and is expected to see a 2014 refresh that will add support for game controllers and pay-TV content. In addition, Apple recently snapped up gesture recognition sensor developer PrimeSense.
Whether for TV sets, set-tops, or both, Hollywood's unwillingness to agree to content deals that would seriously disrupt the pay-TV industry's status quo have affected the living room ambitions of Apple, Intel, Microsoft, and others.
Separately, Jony Ive has provided a fresh interview in which he reiterates Apple's product philosophy. "We’re surrounded by anonymous, poorly made objects ... what we’ve shown is that people do care. It’s not just about aesthetics. They care about things that are thoughtfully conceived and well made."