Apple TV in development for possible 2012 release, according to report

The release of Steve Jobs’s biography has brought to light a torrent of new information about the notoriously private former Apple executive: We’ve learned he pledged ‘thermonuclear war’ on Google and opted for some non-traditional treatments for his pancreatic cancer, and we got some insight into his thoughts about other heavyweights in the tech industry.

In addition to pulling back the curtain on Jobs’s personal life, Walter Isaacson’s book also offers one key quote that could signal where the world’s most valuable company might be headed next. He wrote that Jobs said he wanted to create an Apple TV, one that Jobs told Isaacson, “would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud.” Jobs also told Isaacson, “It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.”

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Today a report from Bloomberg News adds to this evidence that a television set may indeed be on the horizon from Apple. Adam Satariano writes that the tech firm has drafted Jeff Robbin—the software engineer who was central in developing iTunes—to head up development of a television. The device, Satariano says, could incorporate Apple’s new voice command technology, Siri, and may also work in sync with iCloud.

As proof that Apple has begun work on a prototype, Satariano cites analysis from Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray. Munster says an Apple TV could hit shelves by the end of 2012 or perhaps 2013, and says he has based this figure on “meetings with contacts close to Apple’s suppliers in Asia, industry contacts and Apple’s patent portfolio.” 

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