Before his death last fall, Steve Jobs had turned his attention toward a fourth industry he had targeted to revolutionize. Television. Already having revolutionized the personal computer industry, digital music and mobile communications, Television was next on his horizon.
Steve Job’s vision, according to Walter Issacson in his biography of the founder of Apple, was to develop and create an integrated device built on the intuitive design interface made famous by Apple and combined with seamless access to a user’s media library. Jobs told Issacson he’d cracked it and that the world would see the fruits of his vision by the end of the year.
Apple has had a small set-top box that allows users to download movies from the iTune store for years. Until now the initiative had been considered “a hobby” by company executives, but Apple appears to be accelerating work on a TV product and solution. The company is planning to introduce a streaming TV service by Christmas according to a recent report in the New York Post.
Apple is exploring the possibility of offering TV channels as “apps.” The idea is based on the success of the application-based software model that has been so successful and popular for the iPhone. Only hold up appears to be getting the big entertainment content companies to allow their property to be distributed by Apple. It’s the same scenario Apple faced with record labels with iTunes over a decade ago.
According to Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, the company’s share price could reach new heights (possibly even $1,000 per share) if Apple’s new Television effort can repeat the success the company had in the music and mobile industries. Analysts seem to agree. Gene Muster of Piper Jaffray predicted in an interview last week with Bloomberg that Apple TV could be “the biggest thing in consumer electronics since the smartphone.”
The Apple iTV, expected out this fall, might be “just a sheet of glass — no edges or bezels.”- Piper Jaffray