iTV

The moment I read the “I’ve Cracked the TV” quote from the Steve Jobs bio, I knew what the subject of the next few months at the rumor mill would be. Here it is in context:

“‘I’d like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use,’ [Jobs told Isaacson]. ‘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.’”

That seems to be a lot more certain than Jobs was last year at the D8 conference when he took a question from an audience member. In it, he laid out some very important things that no one is really talking about.


(Flashless)

The whole clip is much more fascinating than much of what I’ve been reading over the past week. The interface that Jobs is talking about isn’t whether Apple will use Siri or 3D gestures or not. It is how to put a layer on top of everything else with a consistent UI. He gets down to the nitty gritty at 1:30-3:00:

Add a box on to the TV system. You can say well gosh I notice my HDTV has a bunch of HDMI ports on it one of them is coming from the set-top box I’ll just add another little box with another one. Well, you just end up with a table full of remotes, clutter of boxes, bunch of different UIs, and that’s the situation we have today. The only way that’s ever going to change is if you go back to step one and tear up the set top box and restart from scratch with a redesigned UI and present it to the consumer in a way they’re willing to pay for it. And right now there’s no way to do that. So that’s the problem with the TV market. We decided what product do we want the most, a better TV or a better phone? Well the phone won because there was no chance to do the TV because there’s no way to get it to market. What do we want a better TV or better tablet. Well a better tablet because there’s no way to get the TV to market. The TV is going to lose until there is a better go to market, or there’ll just be a bunch of TIVOs. That’s the fundamental problem. It’s not a problem of technology, it’s a go to market technology.

So the question becomes: How is Apple going to “tear up the set top box” and start over?

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New iPod nano storage moves to SanDisk from Toshiba, iPhone 4S BOM estimated at $203


Toshiba-branded NAND flash module in the previous-generation iPod nano (left) and the SanDisk module in the new model (right). Click for larger.

Apple on Monday reaffirmed its dedication to the iPod family and its latest iPod nano saw a slight refresh stemming mostly from the power of software. The enhancements include an improved user interface with larger icons, sixteen new watch faces and the improved Nike+ fitness functionality (accelerometer?). Furthermore, the new interface available to the older nanos, too, via a firmware update. Apple’s diminutive music player is available in seven colors, priced at $129/$149 for the 8GB/16GB version.

Gadget experts at iFixit tore it apart and found out the device carries the same model number A1366 as its predecessor, while the part number shifted from MC688LL/A to MC689LL/A, yet another indication of the minor hardware tweaks. The device still features the same 240-by-240 pixel display which remains inseparably bonded to the front glass. Also looking at the logic board, the seventh-generation iPod nano sports three Apple-branded chips, like its predecessor.

However, Toshiba’s NAND flash module from the previous-generation model has been replaced with flash memory from SanDisk, which appears to be the only major change to the device’s internals. The battery is still soldered to the logic board and getting the display off of the device requires the use of a heat gun, just like before, iFixit noted.

Apple iPod Nano Part 1

Additionally, iFixit’s director of technical communication Miroslav Djuric confirmed to 9to5Mac via email that the new model carries an updated Apple processor, the Apple 339S0104 chip versus the Apple 33850859 silicon found in the previous model. From TechInisights, it appears that this is a repackaged Samsung processor+DRAM:

  • Apple 339S0104 stacked PoP – Samsung APL3278A01 ARM Apps Processor and 512 Mbits Mobile DDR SDRAM from Samsung K4X51323PI

    This stacked package-on-package device, once decapped, revealed another design win for Samsung (manufacturers of the A4 ARM processor).

    This package revealed a Samsung APL3278A01 ARM application processor and 512 Mb (64 Mbytes) of Mobile DDR SDRAM (part number K4X51323PI).

By the way, UBM TechInsights guesstimated that Apple is spending $203 in parts for each 32GB iPhone 4S.