Steve Jobs always use to titillate audiences with his famous “Oh, and one more thing” line at the end of his product intros — saving the best and most groundbreaking stuff just as he was walking off stage.
So how’s this for a groundbreaking finale? Jobs remakes the humble TV set.
Rumors have been rampant for months that Apple is working on a TV. IOS5, its latest iPhone operating system, includes support for a next-generation Apple TV device.
But Apple TV, often referred to as Jobs’ “hobby” — has never really taken off, and remains a very limited device that allows you to access Netflix, YouTube, selected podcasts and websites, your computer library, and not much more.
It’s a near-certainty that Apple will update the device. But Jobs specialized in creating entirely new markets by reimagining existing ones. And he supposedly left Apple with a game plan for the next three years.
Think about it. Your living room is a jungle of devices. Sometimes you can’t even figure out how to turn on the TV. You have a jumble of cable services, most of which you don’t want. This is the kind of market Jobs specialized in simplifying.
It’s also the one existing screen he hasn’t conquered, after inventing or reinventing PCs, movie screens (Pixar), mobile phones, music players, and electronic books.
Imagine just turning on a TV that looked like a giant iPad and allowed you to easily browse the Internet, play all your songs, get any TV or movie content you wanted, and so on. Would you buy a new TV? Would you switch to a cable company that offered a 60-inch screen for $199 as part of a two-year commitment. Suppose the price of getting that TV screen was making a lot more network content available a la carte?
The remote control for all this? Why, the iPhone and the iPad, of course. So you'd have a lot more than a remote in your hands. You'd have another screen supplementing the info on the TV screen with anything you wanted.
I could well be whistling in the dark. I’m not privy to any inside information. Still, wouldn’t this be the most insanely great thing ever — one more thing from beyond the grave?