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As Steve Jobs famously noted two years ago, the problem facing Apple in trying to crack the TV business was not a matter of technology but the lack of a viable “go-to-market strategy,” given pay-TV providers’ tight grip on the set-top box. Just before his death last year, he even-more famously, if enigmatically told his biographer, Walter Isaacson, that he had “finally cracked it.” How? It’s beginning to look as if Apple has decided that if it can’t beat the pay-TV operators at their own game it might as well join them. With rumors of an Apple smart TV reaching fever pitch, there are growing reports that is looking to partner with pay-TV operators as part of its roll out strategy, rather than trying to muscle them aside. In contrast, Boxee is trying to muscle the operators aside for set-top supremacy — and is finding its way blocked.