You may not be familiar with Apple’s Jeff Robbin, but you’ll certainly be familiar with his work. He’s the vice president of consumer applications for the Cupertino company and the man who created iTunes. He also helped develop the original iPod along with Tony Fadell. Robbin’s latest project is one that we’ve been hearing about a lot lately: the Apple television set.
According to a Bloomberg report, which cites “three people with knowledge of the project,” Robbin is leading the team behind Apple’s TV project. His involvement is believed to be a strong indication that the company is committed to its own television set and “extending its leadership in smartphones and tablets into the living room.”
Rumors surrounding an Apple-branded television seemed to go quiet recently while the headlines focused on the company’s latest iPhone, and the passing of the its co-founder, Steve Jobs. However, it was Steve’s biographer, Walter Isaacson, that brought that speculation back to life again.
Isaacson has been working with Steve on his authorized biography, simply titled Steve Jobs, since 2009, and the book hit shelves yesterday much to the delight of Apple fans who are keen to learn more about its creator. During an interview with Isaacson, Steve spoke about how he’d “finally cracked” the integrated television, reviving rumors that claim an Apple TV set is on its way out of Cupertino:
‘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.’
Of course, the company has already focused some of its efforts on home entertainment with its Apple TV — a $99 set-top box that allows users to stream content to their TV from their iOS device, iTunes, Netflix, YouTube, and more. However, Steve himself has always regarding this as a “hobby,” rather than a real moneymaker like the iPhone or iPad.
It certainly seems as though an Apple television will be the company’s latest addition to its increasingly successful product line, but according to Gene Munster, an analyst with Piper Jaffray & Co., we won’t see the device until at least late next year — or possibly even 2013.
I’m both excited and intrigued by the prospect of an Apple television set. The company is famous for taking products that aren’t working so well and revolutionizing them, as it has done with the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. However, I think television is already doing pretty well for itself, so it’ll be interesting to see how Apple can improve on what we already have.
Do you think Apple can make a difference to home entertainment?