What Steve Jobs Really Meant When He Envisioned the iTV to Walter Isaacson — Opinion

A different take on "the television passage" from Jobs biography

When Steve Jobs told biographer Walter Isaacson “I finally cracked it,” referring to an integrated television solution, he didn’t say anything about Apple building a big screen.

Refusing to follow the Apple blogosphere in taking words out of context, Gordon Kelly believes the media got it all wrong when Jobs shared his iTV vision with Isaacson.

“Stop. Stop. Stop! It's time for some perspective because both Apple and Microsoft would be mad to make televisions,” Kelly, writing for the Trusted Reviews, opines.

He points out to the full segment that says Apple’s integrated television solution “‘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,” wrote Isaacson. “‘It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it,’” he added, quoting Jobs.

Kelly thus concludes that Jobs actually never mentioned he wanted to build a television – “…he said he wanted to revolutionise TV… and you don’t need to sell a television to do that,” he believes.

Indeed Apple is well positioned to further capitalize on its existing Apple TV (set-top-box) solution as well as the iPhone and iPad as “second-screen” devices.

As Kelly explains, these secondary devices can not only act as remote controllers, but also as the rains behind what is simply a TV set with a “brilliant” display.

In this respect, “every time you upgrade your phone or tablet you upgrade the ability of every TV in the house and you don't need dedicated TV remote controllers. It's a much nicer thought,” writes Kelly.

One of the first companies to attempt this is Nintendo, with their Wii U console. However, it is believed that Apple, Microsoft and Google are far better positioned to leverage this concept, thanks to their fast-paced product rollouts.

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