Quick: Has anyone read the cover story in the latest Rolling Stone? You know — the one with a young Steve Jobs and a headline promising to shed light on a guy who went to great lengths to make his life as private as possible? The story was … not as good as the people behind it wanted it to be. Why does his first girlfriend get an entire page to wax poetic on being young and in love while his actual widow gets no more than a mere one line buried on the 59th page, three trillion words into it? And what about his deadbeat dad-ness? That gets one paragraph while 10 times as much real estate is used to describe how much the Apple mastermind adored using drugs?
But I digress. The lazy reporting in RS’s piece was ultimately overshadowed by the release of the first post-Jobs-world biography that is designed to shed some light on a guy who was — and still is — unarguably the most important innovator of our time. Walter Isaacson’s “Steve Jobs,”released today, is nearly 700 pages of pure, unadulterated genius. Or, at least, so says the people who nabbed advanced copies of it.
Naturally, one of the most interesting excerpts that made its way into news today tackles one of the things this particular blog has tackled before: Apple’s foray into the world of television. And as it goes, the notion of a successful Apple TV may just be Jobs’ final mark left on a technological world he already revolutionized. From the Washington Post‘s Hayley Tsukayama …
““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.’”
He finally cracked it, eh? Sure, that’s exciting enough, but I’ll see your Steve Jobs book excerpt and raise you a Monday morning Apple Insider short item. From Neil Hughes …
“Analyst Gene Munster with Piper Jaffray revealed in a note to investors on Monday that a source close to an Asian component supplier claimed in September that Apple was building prototype models of its rumored high-definition television set,” Hughes said. “Munster has long been a believer that Apple will enter the television market, saying as far back as February 2009 that he believed the company was working on a major entrance into the living room. He sees Apple building an all-in-one, Internet-connected television set with access to the App Store and iTunes content.”
How about the numbers? According to Hughes, if Apple were to launch a TV set late next year, he says reports claim that sales would add about three percent to the company’s revenue in 2013. How so, you ask? As it goes, the company is expecting to sell a total of 220 million television sets in 2012, with about 50 percent of them coming as Internet-connected devices.
What does this all mean? Well, it solidifies the possibility of Apple taking the television world seriously much sooner than some may have thought (and yes, its current set-top box $99 Apple TV doesn’t count). To think that Jobs made this product one of his most important projects up until the day he died only adds more intrigue to the legend of both the man and his company. The possibility of its release now looking more and more like it could come next year can only mean good things for those who rely on the Internet for the bulk of their television services.
Couple that with the growing notion that the television market is ready for some drastic, change-of-landscape-revolution, and what you have is a recipe for one final world-changing act from one of the greatest minds that ever lived. Sure, Steve Jobs might not physically be with us anymore, but you would have to be an idiot to think his impact on the way we live is going to stop with his death.