Steve Jobs’ told biographer: ‘I finally cracked’ the secret to an easy-to-use integrated HDTV

Steve Jobs told his official biographer, Walter Isaacson, that he had been thinking about a full-fledged Apple television.

Hayley Tsukayama reports for The Washington Post:

“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.’”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If Apple makes an Apple television, it won’t be about hardware specs (they’ll be solid enough), but about the user interface, ease-of-use, and a new way to Think Different™ about “watching TV.” It’s not at all difficult to imagine Siri on board (hopefully after having already spread to iPad, iPod touch, and, of course, Mac.)

After it’s unveiled, the naysayers will pooh-pooh it, the Gizgadgets of the world and Apple’s soon-to-be-steamrolled TV set “competitors” will produce spec sheet shootouts pitting it against the Samdung XJ45b-Q11 and/or the Sony QMK-32L-1029, and then millions upon millions of Apple units will be sold in the first weekend after huge crowds line up on launch day.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Brawndo Drinker,” “Lava_Head_UK,” “Lynn Weiler,” and “Will Rhea”for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Apple reportedly gearing up to produce Apple HDTV set for Christmas 2012 – October 20, 2011
Apple is working on a television for 2012, say sources – August 28, 2011


  1. Absolutely love this , Steve is marketing from the grave …..
    There will be an gigantic amount of speculation and hype until this product is announced

  2. Jobs: “I’d like to provide an easy-to-use HD solution like Blu-ray but I can’t give them that because I need to be able to make a lot of money off of it.”

    1. Yes, because nothing says “Easy to use” like piles of fragile disks that cost 40-100 bucks each, require storage space and manual changing. Not to mention easy to use second remote and $50-100 HDMI cables. Ask your self why blue ray disks are so expensive, the answer is because Sony want to make lots of money off them..

      1. “… and $50-100 HDMI cables.” Boy, did they see YOU coming! Anyone who pays more than ten bucks for HDMI cables is a halfwit. They’re not carrying an analogue signal, they’re just carrying data, no need for high cost. I’ve got my Cambridge DVD99 hooked up with one that cost less than a dollar fifty. Works fine. I had to pay a bit more, around seven for the one from my Mac Mini to my Bravia, ‘cos the really cheap ones were sold out.

  3. You guys are missing the point. If AppleTV isn’t selling, then AppleHDTV isn’t going to sell either.


    Television is do devoid of decent content that the most beautiful interface and controls won’t save it. Studios refuse to make their decent legacy content available a la carte, so there’s no business case for a smart, user-friendly TV. Cable companies and studios won’t let Apple undermine the shitpipes that consumers have become conditioned to accept. No new distribution channel can get around that.

    As for the next generation: except for live sports (again, practically unavailable without an expensive subscription) kids don’t watch TV, they’re on iPads, Macs .. and yes, PCs, Xboxes, and Playstations. Nor can many working families justify the price of a new TV … which makes an upscale model a niche player at best, except even harder to sell than the $99 product Apple already offers.

    Apple, don’t waste your time. If you can’t guarantee reliable a la carte content, they you’ll just end up being another Tivo / Hulu / Netflix competitior but with more expensive hardware requirements.

    1. Can you say “iTunes Movie Match” if it works for music, why not your existing movie collection. Suddenly all your kids Disney movies are available on all your devices.

      And I think Apple WILL work out the cable bundling limitations. People are tired of it. It is the live Sports that will be the issue, not all the channels on cable.

  4. Bought a samsung tv for $3500. Which is crap. Told my wife &son that if apple had a tv then i would definitely buy 1. So, when apple will release tv, i’ll be there to buy one.

  5. I got an inside tip on the new interface: The Clapper!

    Bad jokes aside, consumers don’t flip their TVs until they must. If Apple were to start making TVs (and I am still deeply skeptical of that), their offering would need to be a radical advance in screen technology to get consumers to ditch their flat screens. Instead, my money is on keeping your TV, but adding something to it that brings ease of use and intelligence that only Apple could offer.

    Just like the pundits misjudged the iPhone 4S (which was totally redesigned inside), I wonder if a small box sold by Apple would be underestimated. The real power would be its software inside that could make a TV deliver on its intended promise.

    Stay tuned. Film at 11. Back to you, Ted.

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