The last time Steve Jobs attended the All Things Digital Conference in 2007, he was accompanied by Microsoft’s Bill Gates. The two discussed their contributions to the technology industry and made you think just for a second that things between the long competing companies had never been so friendly.
Tonight, Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple, is back, though this time, he shares the stage alone as he answers questions from the Wall Street Journal’s Wall Mossberg and Kara Swisher. Let’s hear some of his insights about the iPad, Flash, and the infamous Gizmodo incident.
Customers Complaining about AT&T’s Frequent Dropped Calls
You can bet we’re doing everything we can do. … I can tell you what I’m told by reliable people: to make things better, people reallocate spectrum and they do things like increasing backhaul and they put in more robust switches … and things in general, when they start to fix them get worse before they get better … and if you believe that things should be getting a lot better real soon.
The Gizmodo Lost iPhone Incident
For those who have been living in a cave without Internet…the story goes that an Apple engineer took out a prototype of the next iPhone for testing…it was his birthday…he went to a bar…and accidentally misplaced it…Gizmodo paid $5000 for the device…and made off like Charlie with the golden ticket.
There’s an ongoing investigation, but I can tell you what I do know. To make a wireless product, you have to test it. You can’t just keep it in the lab. There’s a debate about whether it was left in a bar or stolen out of his bag, but the person who found it tried to sell it. It’s a great story…it’s got theft, buying stolen property, extortion. Probably sex in there somewhere…someone should make a movie out of this.
When this whole thing with Gizmodo happened, I got a lot of advice from people who said you’ve got to just let it slide … you shouldn’t go after a journalist because they bought stolen property and tried to extort you … and I thought about that and I decided that Apple can’t afford to change its core values and simply let it slide. … We have the same core values as when we started and we come into work wanting to do the same thing today that we wanted to do five years ago.
What Mr. Jobs meant to say is that Gizmodo can go screw themselves and play with their stolen iPhone all they want.
To make a wireless product work well, you have to test it. And one of our employees was carrying one and there’s a debate about whether it was left in a bar or stolen … and the person who found it decided to sell it … and it turned out this person plugged it into his room mate’s computer and that room-mate called the police.
Apple Surpassing Microsoft in Market Capitalization
It doesn’t matter very much. It’s not what’s important. It’s not what makes you come to work in the morning…It is a little surreal.
Building the iPad
It started on a tablet first. I had this idea about having a glass display, a multitouch display you could type on. I asked our people about it. And six months later they came back with this amazing display. And I gave it to one of our really brilliant UI guys. He then got inertial scrolling working and some other things, and I thought, ‘My god, we can build a phone with this,’ and we put the tablet aside, and we went to work on the phone.
You see? The iPhone is actually a smaller version of the iPad! It’s the otherway around!
Since its release nearly two months ago, the iPad has sold over 2 million units. Note: The U.S. accounts for most of these sales numbers as the iPad was only recently made available for purchase in other countries like the U.K., Japan, and Australia.
What he really means to say is, “Take that, Microsoft!”
We’re all over this. We do one of the best jobs in any industry of understanding suppliers’ working conditions. Foxconn is not a sweatshop, it’s a factory. 13 suicides out of 400,000 workers this year is less than the U.S. rate of 11 per 100,000, but it’s still troubling. We’re trying to understand things right now and we have people over there.
We want to help our developers make money. We’re not going to make much money on this. People’s behavior on phones is very different than on computers…less searching and more apps. So you put ads in the apps to help developers make money. Sure, someone else could do it, but they’re not. We can build it right into the OS.
Steve’s Job(No pun intended)
I have one of the best jobs in the world,” Jobs says. “I get to hang out with some of the most talented, committed people around and together we get to play in this sandbox and build these cool products. … Apple is an incredibly collaborative company. You know how many committees we have at Apple? Zero. We’re structured like a start-up. We’re the biggest start-up on the planet. And we all meet once a week to discuss our business … and there’s tremendous teamwork at the top and that filters down to the other employees … and so what I do all day is meet with teams of new people and work on ideas and new problems to come up with new products.
Apple doesn’t have the resources others have, and we have to choose which horses to ride. We try to ride those that are on the way up. If you choose wisely, you save yourself an enormous amount of work.
We didn’t start off to have a war with Flash. We made a technical decision. But it wasn’t until the iPad that Adobe raised a stink about it.
We have the courage of our convictions. We’re going to take the heat because we want to make the best products in the world for our customers. If we succeed they’ll buy them, and if we don’t they won’t. So far they’re liking the iPad…we’re selling one every three seconds.
The End of the Show