In the biography of Apple founder Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson records a statement from Jobs about an Apple Television. Jobs says that he has “finally cracked it.”

Now, Nick Bilton, writing for the New York Times, has said that Jobs was referring not to the TV itself, but to the way it was controlled. This would appear to indicate that the new product would be controlled by Apple’s new voice assistant Siri.

Bilton says that this television product has been being worked on at Apple since at least a year ago and says that some executives were talking about the idea as far back as 2007.

…an individual who has knowledge of Apple’s prototype supply chains overseas told me they had seen some “large parts floating around” that belonged to Apple. This person believed that it “looked like the parts could be part of a large Apple television.

During his investigation, Bilton says that his sources at apple said that Apple was definitely going to make a television at some point. “Absolutely, it is a guaranteed product for Apple,” said a source. “Steve thinks the industry is totally broken.”

Bilton says that the product could be announced as soon as late 2012 and arrive in 2013.

Earlier this week, we heard that the television project at Apple was apparently being spearheaded by Jeff Robbin, the man behind the iTunes app.