Dave Courbanou

October 24, 2011

3 Min Read
Steve Jobs' Promises: Kill Android, Reinvent the TV

Today, Steve Jobs’ biography “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson hits the shelves and the digital iBooks representation of a shelf. But in the past week, there have been some juicy leaks about the book’s contents. The most interesting of them all? Steve Jobs hated Android with a passion and felt he finally figured out how to reinvent TV the way he did personal computing …

The official quote from Jobs on Android, according an AP article on the biography:

“I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”

I think that makes Jobs’ position on Android crystal clear, and it’s likely that many of the jabs against Android and other competitors during his keynotes weren’t just to get a rise from the audience and fan base, but likely were straight from Jobs’ own frustrations.

According to the AP article, Isaacson’s biography shows Jobs reviled Google’s Eric Schmidt, asking him to “… stop using our ideas in Android.”

Jobs clearly had a personal and emotional interest in the products he developed, and that may come as no surprise, especially since Jobs was more than a CEO at Apple. His name appears on a ton of Apple patents, from the iPhone to Apple Store glass staircases. But if Jobs wanted to make good on his promise, it’s likely he left Apple with plans to blow Android out of the water in the coming years. I suspect the next iPhone will be a realization of many of Jobs’ plans for the platform and device.

Meanwhile, the continued whispers about an Apple television set were further fueled by excerpts from the biography, that showed Jobs was intensely focused on revolutionizing the boob tube. According to the Washington Post, which also had a copy of the biography:

“I’d like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use. It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud. It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.”

It’s fair to say that right now, nobody has quite cracked the connected Internet-TV code, but there a few decent contenders. Obviously, AppleTV has sold well, especially at the $99 price point, but it feels like it’s missing something. The Boxee Box aims to take Internet video sites and brings them down to a usable remote and couch-based interface, but isn’t without its quirks. Google TV boxes seem to be living in a grey area, somewhere in-between the land of Android and the world of Internet video, but again, filled with quirks.

It’s hard to speculate what Apple and Jobs did to “crack” the TV world wide open, but if anyone can completely revolutionize the glowing boxes in our living rooms, it’s likely to be Apple. One thing is for certain: Jobs may be gone, but his spirit will live on in more Apple products than we realize.

More importantly, what do you think? Do you see Apple releasing its own TV set, or perhaps a more intense upgrade to the AppleTV line? Do you think Apple has super-secret plans to nuke Android? I think we’ll know the answers in a just a year’s time.

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