Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) vice president of consumer applications Jeff Robbin is best known for developing iTunes and helped create the iPod. According to sources with Bloomberg, Robbin will now be spearheading the development of an Apple television set. Before Apple co-founder Steve Jobs passed away, he told his biographer Walter Isaacson that he had “finally cracked” how to build an integrated TV set with a simple user interface that could wirelessly synchronize content with Apple’s other devices.
Apple’s only foray into the TV market thus far has been the $99 Apple TV, which plugs into a TV and gives users access to content from iTunes, Netflix, and YouTube. Jobs called Apple TV a hobby rather than being a serious money-maker. Robbin was hired by Apple in 2000 when they acquired the SoundJam digital music player that he developed. According to his biography, Steve Jobs did not allow a Time magazine reporter to meet him without agreeing not to print his last name out of fear that Robbin would be poached by a competitor.
Robbin is also known for convincing Jobs to allow computers running on Microsoft Windows to use iTunes. Now iTunes has 225 million registered users and generated about $1.5 billion last quarter.