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Wednesday
Oct262011

Steve Jobs Outlined Plans To Create Apple TV: Biographer

Mike Ehrmann/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- In his final days, Steve Jobs told his authorized biographer, Walter Isaacson, that he was far from finished. One of the many technologies he planned to remake, he said, was your television.

Since Jobs had already reinvented communications (the iPhone), computing (from the Macintosh to the iPad), music (the iPod) and animation (Pixar), the tech world has been abuzz about a possible Apple TV since Isaacson brought it up.

In his book, Isaacson quotes Jobs: "'I'd like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use,' he told me.  'It would be seamlessly synched 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.'"

So what did he crack?  Is there really something in the works?

Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray & Co., says yes.  Like most Apple products, he predicts, it will be simple, sleek, all-purpose -- and it has the potential to change completely the way you use your TV.

"Imagine a 40- or 50-inch iPad," said Munster.

He said he envisions a system that understands voice commands, using Apple's new Siri virtual assistant, and spares you the trouble of fumbling with a clunky remote that always gets lost between the sofa cushions.

Munster said he's met with component suppliers in Asia, and "I think the inertia is behind it."  Parts are not yet being manufactured, he said, but there could well be an Apple television "in late 2012 or early 2013."

Munster said it will only work, though, if content providers -- TV program producers, video game makers and the like -- recognize its potential and make use of it.  If they do, he said, it could be a threat to cable TV providers and manufacturers such as Sony and Samsung.

"Anyone who manufactures a high-end TV will get hammered," he said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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