Steve Jobs Off The Hook!
Thousands of hours of research finds that Steve Jobs is not guilty in the stock options scandal. When reporting this story Thursday I heard all sorts of dirt about how Jobs is an ego maniac. That he is a micro-manager, stubborn, even flat-out nasty. [Early in the company employees were afraid to travel with him in the elevator-- they didn't want to be out of a job by the time they got off on their floor]. But you can't deny that the man really is a genius. Looking ahead to 2007 there's no doubt that he will continue to change the way we listen to music and buy our tunes. Yet in 2007 Jobs will also change the way we watch movies and TV.
My prediction -- by Tuesday, everyone will realize that this shock option scandal means nothing-- maybe Apple was just one of 200 companies backdating options and that Jobs is still the most creative CEO out there.
Another prediction -- in a few weeks Jobs will unveil his next gen iPod that's got everything that Microsoft's Zune does -- bigger screen, ability to share-- but it'll be cool (and shiny) like the iPod.
The big revolution in 2007 will be iTV. Apple's gadget to beam digitally downloaded movies or TV shows from your computer to your TV. The quality won't be good enough to compete with the new high-def DVDs, but if you've got broadband and you can figure out how to download a movie, there'll definitely be little reason to buy another DVD. Okay, so we're still talking about early adopters, but if Jobs can make iTV as simple as all his other gadgets, it's a sure winner.
Questions? Comments? MediaMoney@cnbc.com