"I Finally Cracked It"
"I finally cracked it." - Steve Jobs
In Steve Jobs biography, titled "Steve Jobs," penned by Walter Isaacson, they discussed a wide parameter of topics. Life. Birth. Death. His adopted parents. The start of Apple. Why there are no on/off switches on Apple devices.
All of these things are incredibly worthwhile to read, learning how one of the greatest businessman of our time got his start. When Jobs passed away, there was an outflow of emotion for someone like I have never seen before. Jobs was not a President of a country, but rather someone who had some ideas that changed the word for the better, forever.
By now, if you are a fan of Mr. Jobs, and his life's work, you know that he revolutionized seven industries: advertising, retail stores, tablets, computers, music, movies, and phones. Yet there was one thing missing from his life's work that Jobs had not been able to transform, at least not yet: television.
There has been speculation before, about the potential for an Apple-banded television set. Piper Jaffray has mentioned the potential for an Apple TV before.
"What Apple does really well is put everything into one box,” Munster said during a radio interview with Bloomberg Surveillance. “People are much more willing to pay $1,200 for something Apple puts together that's all nice and neat than go try and tie it all together themselves.”
Then we heard back in August from a Taiwanese fund manager who believes with 100% certainty that Apple will launch a television set in 2012. Nothing is certain, and no one is sure where the fund manager got his 100% certainty from, but it is certainly something that has been bandied about before in the past.
Now, it looks like we may have proof straight from the horse's mouth. In Jobs' biography, he talked to Isaacson about not doing anything with televisions, but some of his comments could be construed to mean that Apple has in fact started working on TVs.
“'I'd like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use,' Jobs told Isaacson, during one of his 40 interviews. 'It would be seamlessly synced 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.'”
Those four words, "I finally cracked it" mean something. In his biography, Jobs told things no one would know about, and revealed a lot of different pieces about his personal life and the way he conducts business. Those three words might also mean that he has confirmed what others have speculated on for so long.
This is such a complete 180 from Apple's modus operandi. The Cupertino-based company never reveals its secrets, and is more secretive than the CIA about its products. For Jobs to mention something about a TV set is almost as crazy and mind-blowing as Jobs' ability to make people buy products they thought they did not need.
The comments got so much attention that Piper Jaffray put out a research note on it. In the report, Piper Jaffray wrote, "On Fri. (10/21) excerpts from Steve Jobs biography hinted that Apple may be working on an television. Independent of the data point from Fri., we have long believed that Apple was planning to launch an all-in-one television in late 2012 or 2013. Our thesis is based on meetings with contacts close to Asian component suppliers, industry contacts, Apple's patent portfolio for television technology, and recent product launches (iCloud, Siri). If Apple was going to launch a TV in late 2012, we believe it would add about 3% to our 2013 revenue and only be slightly dilutive to GM."
That is how profound the comments are. A research firm felt the need to comment on comments in a book about the company's co-founder.
Since his passing on October 5 there has been an incredible outflow of emotion for the man, as well as for his products. The iPhone, the iPad, MacBooks, and the iPod have all changed the way people live for the better. Yet, Jobs it seems, felt like his work was not complete, until he could completely transform the way people consume content. The Apple TV, which many believe is going to be included in a potential television set, has been described as a "hobby" by both the late Mr. Jobs and Apple's new CEO, Tim Cook. Some have speculated that with the addition of Siri to the iPhone 4S, the iPhone could be the remote for the new TV set.
If Jobs did indeed "crack" how to make television easier and better for all, the world will certainly be waiting for the unveiling.
The only question I have is this: who holds the remote?
Traders who believe that Apple will launch a television set might want to consider the following trades:
- This could great for Apple, as it tries to deliver content and hardware better than anyone else.
- It could be a giant iPad, which may benefit names like ARM Holdings (NASDAQ: ARMH), a company that licenses its intellectual property to Apple for its proprietary chips.
Traders who believe that Apple does launch an "iTV" in 2012 or 2013 may consider alternate positions:
- This could be bearish for Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX). Traders may consider shorting the once high flying stock.
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