Steve Jobs planned to concentrate on reinventing TV when he stepped down as Apple CEO

When Steve Jobs stepped down as Apple’s CEO, he was going to focus his energy on one very specific, secret project: Apple’s reinvention of TV — including the TV set itself, according to Recode.

Walt Mossberg, Recode’s editor-at-large and an executive editor at the Verge, says Jobs called him on the night he announced he was formally handing over control of his company to Tim Cook, and told him about his TV ambitions. 

“I think we figured out a way to do it, and it’s going to be fantastic,” Jobs told Mossberg. “I want you to come out, in a few months, and I want to show it to you.’

However, Jobs died less than two months later. Mossberg says: “If you would have asked me five minutes after we hung up, I would have said he was going to reinvent the whole TV set. It would be Apple-esque, meaning it was high quality, and very easy to use. But he was thinking about more than hardware — that was clear, too.”

Hopes for an Apple-branded television set finally bit the dust in May 2015 when Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, the most vocal proponent of such a device, finally gave up the dream. Munster wrote in a note to clients titled “Facing The Reality of No Apple Television” that he should have known better after spending “the better part of the last decade” calling for such a product. 

Daisuke Wakabayashi of The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple did indeed spend a decade experimenting with TV sets in one form or another. “In addition to an ultra-high-definition display, Apple considered adding sensor-equipped cameras so viewers could make video calls through the set,” he wrote.

Of course, all those ideas and plans are still stashed away in Apple’s top secret labs. There’s always the possibility that Job’s vision will someday see the light of day.