A leaked excerpt from an upcoming biography of Steve Jobs suggests that Apple's former CEO was keen "to do for television sets what he had done for computers, music players, and phones" by making them "simple and elegant."
"I'd like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use," Jobs was quoted by Walter Isaacson in his upcoming volume, Steve Jobs," which will be published Monday by Simon & Schuster.
"It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud," Jobs told Isaacson. "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."
Apple doesn't comment about future product plans but the question of an Apple television actually goes back several years. In fact, during an appearance at a recent conference sponsored by the website AllThingsD, Jobs talked in detail about the television business, outlining where he said the industry was falling short of the mark. Although he didn't show his cards, it was clear that Jobs had thought deeply about the matter,. Coupled with the report in Isaacson's biography, it may offer a clear indicator where Apple is heading, sooner, rather than later.
"The problem with innovation in the television industry is the go- to-market strategy," Jobs said. He added that a lot of companies in the television industry have "tried but failed" to generate real innovation. the only way that's ever going to change is if you can really go back to square one and tear up the settop box and redesign it from scratch with a consistent UI across all these different functions and get it to the consumer in a way that they're willing to pay for it. And right now there's no way to do that. So that's the problem with the TV market.
"The TV's going to lose until there is a viable go to market strategy," he continued. "Otherwise, you're just making another Tivo."
Isaacson will be appearing on CBS "60 Minutes" Sunday night to talk about Jobs.