A quote from the Steve Jobs biography has the Apple TV rumor mill up and running again. "I'd like to create an integrated television set," Jobs told Walter Isaacson, notes CNN's Philip Elmer-DeWitt, along with a bunch of other excited bloggers. "It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud... It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it." Apple's had a rumored game changing TV for some time now. We've discussed Apple's TV moves on these very pages. But the fresh Jobs remarks have interested bloggers digging: What exactly has Jobs "cracked?"
The prettiest TV in the land? If the TV has any Apple DNA, it will look nice. Perhaps Jobs was referring to the look of the Cupertino company's offering? It might look something like the Bose VideoWave TV, but better Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry theorized, points out AllThingsD's John Paczkowski. "Apple HDTV is directionally similar to Bose VideoWave TV, in terms of simplicity, reducing clutter, image quality and sound quality," wrote Chowdhry in a research note, predicting it will have an even simpler, thinner design, less cables, more speakers, and three price points. Apple may even already have a prototype TV in the works, says Gene Munster, an analyst with Piper Jaffray Cos., reports Bloomberg's Adam Satariano. The prototype will apparently work in Apple's latest darlings: Siri and the Cloud.
A fully functional TV; not just a streaming box. There are plenty of streaming boxes on the market, including Apple's own offering. But they aren't TV's; they're an awkward addition to the already cluttered living room. Steve Jobs may have cracked the difficult code that would allow for a TV that allows streaming content sans cable subscriptions. None of the current options does, and this would change the way people watch and subscribe to programming.
Apple is at least headed in that direction, with the creator of iPod and iTunes, Jeff Robin, heading up the project, according to Satariano. iTunes did for music what someone should do for TV. Get content providers on board with the new medium. If anyone could crack that code, it was Jobs. Dewitt also points to the most recent Apple patent, which indicates the company is trying to build a TV watching device that runs fully on the cloud, sans cable subscription.
No matter how shiny and thin and Apple-y the device looks, it won't have much value sans great content. If Jobs really did crack that code, then we have something to look forward to.