For anyone who thinks that Apple releasing a car is all but a sure thing, the lessons from Apple’s now-abandoned efforts at developing an HDTV should not be ignored. The Wall Street Journal this week detailed how Apple spent nearly a decade researching and prototyping HDTV sets before opting to abandon the idea altogether. While Apple could have undoubtedly released a branded HDTV if it wanted to, it decided not to after struggling to come up with compelling features that would have differentiated its own HDTV from rival sets.
The arc of this story is not wholly surprising or even unique; Apple spent a few years and a whole lot of money researching a product before realizing it wasn’t worth pursuing. As Steve Jobs once said, ” I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.”
And yet, people still seem to be looking at the mythical Apple Car as all but a sure thing, all the while ignoring the fact that Apple constantly researches new technologies and products that, more often than not, never see the light of day.