10.23.11 2:00 PM ET
Juiciest Bits From the Steve Jobs Bio
In the new authorized biography of Apple's enigmatic founder, Walter Isaacson reveals how Jobs regretted his alternative cancer treatments—and what he wanted for his children. Plus, watch the best moments from Isaacson's 60 Minutes interview.
The smartphone wars are moving on to the living room: Bloomberg says Jeff Robbins, the Apple software engineer who designed iTunes, is leading the company’s efforts to build a television set. Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs told Walter Isaacson in his new biography that he had “finally cracked” how to make a web TV. “It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine,” Jobs says in the new book. Nothing is yet official but analysts expect the television in late 2012 or 2013.
Jobs and Obama had a tense meeting just last year, according to the biography. Jobs was upset that his wife had arranged the meet-up, telling her husband that Obama was "really psyched" to meet him. But the Apple founder thought that Obama should have asked himself. During the 45-minute session, Jobs told Obama, "You're headed for a one-term presidency," chiding the president because he saw the U.S. as not friendly to businesses. Jobs made his poitn by telling Obama how much easierit was to start a factory in China.
And we thought the iPad was big. In his forthcoming biography on Apple’s founder, Walter Isaacson gives readers subtle hints about new technology and gadgets that may be in the works at the company. Jobs disclosed to Isaacson his ideas for reinventing television. “It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud. It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.” He also discussed plans for transforming textbooks, eyeing the $8 billion-a-year industry. Jobs thought the process of states certifying textbooks was corrupt and economically inefficient. “If we can make textbooks free, and they come with the iPad, then they don’t have to be certified,” he told Isaacson. “The crappy economy at the state level will last for a decade, and we can give them an opportunity to circumvent that whole process and save money.”
Walter Isaacson's biography offers new insights into Jobs's falling out with Google founder Eric Schmidt, an Apple board member from 2006 to 2009. Infuriated over Android phones that borrowed iPhone features, Jobs told Schmidt the product was “grand theft” and said, “I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.” He told Schmidt he would never settle because money wasn't important to him. The book also gives details about Jobs's battle with cancer. The Apple cofounder refused to get treatment after he was diagnosed, despite being urged to do so by his wife, sister, and friends. When he finally decided to get treatment, he went to the cutting edge, opting for an experimental DNA-sequencing technique.
Did Steve Jobs's success ultimately lead to his demise? The Apple creator's biographer Walter Isaacson says in a 60 Minutes interview that Jobs regretted not having surgery after his pancreatic cancer spread.
Isaacson said in an interview released Thursday that Jobs did not allow surgeons to perform a potentially life-saving surgery on his pancreatic cancer. Jobs instead chose to try alternative therapies and waited nine months before finally getting the operation. Isaacson said he asked Jobs why he didn’t get an operation sooner and Jobs told him he “’didn’t want my body to be opened … I didn’t want to be violated in that way.’” Jobs relied on fruit juice, acupuncture, and other herbal remedies. Once he opted for conventional surgery and medication, however, Jobs focused on it like an expert. The biography goes on sale Monday. Also, read Sharon Begley's piece on whether Jobs refused lifesaving treatment.
The famously private Steve Jobs authorized a biography so his children could get to know him better, his biographer said Thursday. “I wasn’t always there for them, and I wanted them to know why and to understand what I did,” Jobs is quoted as telling Pulitzer Prize–winning writer Walter Isaacson during their final interview. Jobs has four children from two different relationships. Isaacson said he visited Jobs for the last time a few weeks ago, and found Jobs in pain, but Isaacson said the Apple visionary’s “mind was still sharp and his humor vibrant.” Jobs died Oct. 5 at the age of 56 after a long battle with pancreatic neuroendocrine cancer.