Steven P. Jobs, Apple’s former chief executive, was notoriously secretive about the company’s plans when he was running the company. But in a new biography, the late Apple executive offered a couple of tantalizing clues about technologies and businesses the company was exploring.
Mr. Jobs’s biographerÂ Walter Isaacson says in the book thatÂ Mr. Jobs viewed textbooks as the next business he wanted to transform.Â His idea, according to Mr. Isaacson, was to hire textbook writers to create digital versions of their books for the iPad.
He held meetings with major publishers about partnering with Apple, the book says. If textbooks were given away free on iPads he thought the publishers could get around the state certification of textbooks. Mr. Isaacson said Mr. Jobs believed that states would struggle with a weak economy for at least a decade. “We can give them an opportunity to circumvent that whole process and save money, he told Mr. Isaacson.
In one other hint about the company’s plans, Mr. Isaacson describes the board meeting in August when Mr. Jobs resigned as chief executive officer, during which Scott Forstall and Phil Schiller, two Apple executives, joined the group to show off prototypes of future products. According toÂ Mr. Isaacson, Mr. Jobs peppered the executives with questions about the data capacity of fourth-generation cellular networks, known as 4G, and what features should be in future phones. Apple hasn’t yet released an iPhone for 4G networks.