Jobs's final plan: an ‘integrated’ Apple TV

October 21, 2011

The new biography on Steve Jobs has a major product reveal: Apple may drop a full-fledged television.

Right now, the company sells a set-top box that company officials have called a “hobby.” But his comments in Walter Isaacson’s authorized biography — which was reviewed by The Washington Post — hint at something more to come.

“He very much wanted to do for television sets what he had done for computers, music players, and phones: make them simple and elegant,” Isaacson wrote.

Isaacson continued: “‘I’d like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use,’ he told me. ‘It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud.’ No longer would users have to fiddle with complex remotes for DVD players and cable channels. ‘It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.’”

It’s not exactly clear what Jobs meant, but if the TV offered users a la carte programming with integrated Web surfing and access to Apple’s iOS platform, it could upend longstanding industries in telecommunications and entertainment.

There have been persistent rumors that Apple is planning to launch branded television sets for months. It’s been the pet theory of Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster and earned a mention in an August Wall Street Journal article, and Venture Beat’s Dylan Tweeney said that Apple could be planning to launch a television by the end of 2012.

Related stories:

Top five revelations from Steve Jobs’s bio

Steve Jobs bio: Jobs told author, ‘I wanted my kids to know me’

Steve Jobs bio: His thoughts on Android, Obama and modern medicine

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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