Apple hasn't had a breakthrough TV product because the "balance of power is different" in that industry than in sectors that Apple has disrupted, Steve Jobs' biographer Walter Isaacson said Wednesday.
It's much harder to make deals with the cable companies, like those Jobs did with the music industry, Isaacson said in a "Squawk Box" interview. "The middlemen are going to get disrupted in this digital age, but the last to be disrupted are the … cable bundlers. I don't think Superman could disrupt the cable bundle." (Disclosure: Cable giant Comcast is the parent company of CNBC and NBC.)
Isaacson says the television-watching experience is ripe for change. "It's more complicated than it needs to be. … I want to be able to watch whatever I want to watch, whenever I want to watch it, easily. You can't do that now."
"What Steve was always able to do, especially when it came to music, is take the content and connect it to a great device," Isaacson said. If Jobs were still alive, he might try to do for television what he did with music. "Everything from the [TV] hardware design to the software navigation to the content would be in an ecosystem, just like the iPod."
Whether the next big thing from Apple is a television (or a souped-up Apple TV device) or a smartwatch or even camera, Isaacson said those kind of lofty expectations for game-changing products may be unfair.
"I think Tim Cook is a great leader for Apple now," Isaacson said, defending the Apple CEO against criticism that he's great on execution but lacks Jobs' vision. "Nobody could set expectations higher than following the footsteps of Steve Jobs."
Isaacson predicted that Cook's vision will become more apparent starting this fall. On Sept. 9, a new, bigger iPhone is expected to be unveiled. There are also reports that Apple a larger iPad for 2015.
—By CNBC's Matthew J. Belvedere