Thoughts on What Steve Jobs Said at D8

As most of you have probably heard Steve Jobs took the stage at the D8 conference with Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg, who led the discussion. I thought instead if trying to find the best quote to post I would just give you a run down of what I think and read into what Jobs was saying. My thoughts are in no particular order, nor do they match up with the order of the discussion.

Apple & AT&T

Steve Jobs stated pretty much what I have been saying all along – no matter what network the iPhone debuted on, that network would have had the same problems. I think most would agree with this.

The interesting part about Jobs’ statements on AT&T was the sense of loyalty that you get from the way he talks about the two companies relationships. AT&T took a huge risk with marketing the iPhone and allowing Apple to design it with no input from AT&T (not industry standard at the time) – it would seem because of this Jobs feels compelled to keep the iPhone AT&T only for as long as it doesn’t hurt the phone. I would say given the sales numbers that we have not hit that point yet.

The AT&T announcing new (very reasonable) data plan pricing and the eventual support of tethering it would see that this is a last ditch effort for AT&T to knock down the price of cellphone bills. However there was an interesting tidbit in the news – AT&T is doing this to try and curb data usage on its network, as 3% of the users account for 40% of total network usage. This is not in line with what I normally agree with, however if it can improve AT&T’s network for everyone while they work to upgrade it, then I am all for it. Jobs eluded to AT&T working on a lot of things, and I believe this is just one such solution they are going to try.

iPad

Three iPad’s sold every second – are you kidding me? Wow.

Jobs confirmed what we all had the sense of when we first touched the iPad – it was the initial thought, but the iPhone was released first. You can really see that once you use one for a while.

Steve believes that the iPad is the future, plain and simple. I agree, it may never do as much as your laptop does right now, but how often do you need anything more. I am a huge technophile and I only need something more 20% of the time right now, add a few more apps to it and that could drop to 2%. The iPad will be an amazing tool when it matures in the next few years, and until then it will grow in popularity and with that acceptance.

Apple & Flash

You knew that this topic would be broached, and indeed it was. What is interesting to note is that as far as I can tell Jobs was being genuine when he said, it was not about Flash as it is about picking future technologies. Jobs likens Flash to Floppy Drives, in other words Apple sees Flash not as a future technology but as an outdated technology. This explains a lot and should show that it is not so much a performance issue with Flash, Apple just doesn’t want to support a Floppy Disk on their devices. Those of you holding your breath for Flash on the iPhone OS platform, you should breath now, because you will die before it happens.

Jobs on Google

It was inevitable that Mossberg & Swisher would ask Jobs about Google and their relationship with the company. I am going to take Jobs’ statements on the matter to be honest, he has never shown a pension for being anything but honest. Jobs made it very clear that Google stepped into Apple’s territory and not the other way around. He also made it very clear that they are not going into search and that they will continue to provide Google products so long as they are the best option for its customers.

Jobs would not touch on his personal relationship with Schmidt and Google, nor should he have to. I got the distinct impression from the way Jobs was talking that Apple is not out to defend itself or try to bury Google – Apple and Jobs just want to make cool stuff that consumers will buy. This is where Microsoft is going wrong (and thus far Google is as well) – both companies are focused on killing the competition and trying to win, when they need to be focused on making stuff their customers want to use.

So to recap:

Microsoft wants to dominate with Windows Mobile 7 Phone.
Google wants to dominate everything with Android.
Apple wants to make products that people want to use.

Who do you think will win long term? I am not saying Apple will win, but they are on the best path.

On Gizmodo

Nothing new here, he was very brief about the matter as he reiterated the facts that we all know already. Not much more could be said without legal counsel present. However he did say that he could not let it slide, and as I speculated when this all went down – this is about setting an example, not about legalities of stuff. Bummer for Gizmodo, but they had it coming on this one.

On Publishing

Jobs made a very important point when he said (according to the WSJ coverage):

Jobs adds that he believes people are willing to pay for content and that content providers are not pricing their offerings as aggressively as they should.

I don’t think there are many that can disagree with that. I would love to pay for content, but the content has to be good, ad free and priced at a reasonable rate. The Wall Street Journal does none of this, nor does anyone else. Time to pull your heads out of your asses publishing industry.

On App Store Rejections

Apple approves 95% of apps within seven days. Incredible. There will always be the vocal minority when it comes to app rejections, but most of the time Apple has a strong basis for their rejections. When Apple doesn’t they usually analyze it and change their policy to suit. Short of removing all policies and letting all apps through I don’t know what more Apple could do here.

I applaud Apple and Jobs for acknowledging when they are wrong and defending themselves when they think they are right. You can’t ask for more these days, and rarely do you get such candor from a company. (Imagine Microsoft publishing an open letter on Flash?)

Questions Not Asked I Would Have Liked to See Asked:

  • What are your thoughts on the Wired App created with new Adobe technologies?
  • Is the future in video conferencing or text communication, or do you think it will remain audio only?
  • What is your primary computer? (because who doesn’t want to know that)

Link to coverage of the event here.

Originally posted for members on: June 2, 2010
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