Steve Jobs’ biographer Walter Isaacson claims Apple’s acquisition of Beats Electronics isn’t about streaming music or even headphones — it’s all about video and Apple’s long-rumored television product, which has yet to materialize. Isaacson relayed this information to Dan Lyons, who was writing on behalf of Billboard.
According to Isaacson, Iovine will be joining Apple to manage its content business, using his influence in the media industry to broker deals on Apple’s behalf. These deals could lead to the release of the Apple television, which was part of Apple’s product strategy, but never materialized because the company failed to negotiate favorable deals with content providers.
Isaacson thinks the Apple-Beats deal is not about headphones or streaming music but rather is about video. He speculates that Cook wants Iovine to run Apple’s content business and help Apple launch the TV product that analysts have been gossiping about for years. The product has been held up because Apple can’t get all the content owners on board.
As Lyons points out in his article, Apple is undergoing immense changes under the leadership of Tim Cook, likening it to the upheaval Apple went through when Steve Jobs returned to the company in the early 90s. Apple has added a bevy of health and medical experts to its engineering team, chose a fashion designer to head its retail operations and placed Jony Ive in charge of hardware and software development. With Iovine and Dre on board, Cook is preparing to shake things up even further. Apple, Lyons writes, “is about to become a very different company.”
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