The Apple TV speculation got a little more fuel added to the fire today, as Bloomberg is reporting that according to anonymous sources familiar with the project, Apple has tasked Jeff Robbin, the software engineer who developed iTunes, to lead the team working on Apple’s TV.
If indeed the case, it seems a natural fit for Robbin to take charge. Since being hired by Apple in 2000 to work on iTunes (which not coincidentally was based on the SoundJam Music Player which Robbin also developed), Robbin was also involved in the development of the iPod, as well as convincing Steve Jobs to make iTunes available on Windows. These moves cemented Apple’s place beyond personal computers and into the mobile and personal electronics markets. Many of these details have come to light in Steve Jobs biography, released yesterday. Robbin was so valuable to Apple that Jobs only allowed Time magazine to interview him on condition that only his first name, Jeff, was used, for fear of other companies trying to poach him.
Apple is trying to bring simplicity and elegance to yet another area, should it release a TV. While it’s still not a given that Apple will actually make one, it would match up with the way Apple approaches new markets. It’s not necessary to be the first, but to take an existing product, and refine it until it’s perfect. Apple did not make the first mp3 player, nor the first smartphone, nor the first tablet, but undeniably it has been successful at making them better, and then dominating that market.
Let’s hope that Apple can continue its run, and reinvent another market once again.