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Flash, that lost iPhone & Foxcoon suicides

Gordon Kelly


Steve Jobs Talks Flash, iPads, TV & Stolen iPhones

It is rare to see the black polo necked one speaking away from the safety of an Apple stage and home crowd, but last night Steve Jobs spoke to influential US journalist Walk Mossberg (yes he of Mosspuppet fame) in a hugely wide ranging (and 90 minute long) interview at the D8 conference in Los Angeles.

As usual Jobs' views were a dizzying array of cutting insight, cautious no comments and wildly inaccurate generalisations (as we have come to expect). Here are a few of the highlights:

On Apple surpassing Microsoft's valuation:

"It's sort of surreal. It's a little surreal... {in the early 90s} we were 90 days from going bankrupt. I thought all the good people had left - but I found these amazing people. I said, why are you still here? They said, because I believe in Apple. I love what this place stands for. That just made us want to work that much harder."

On Flash and dropping Adobe development tools:

"We have a history of doing this. The 3 1/2 floppy. We made that popular. We got ride of the floppy altogether in the first iMac. We got rid of serial and parallel ports. You saw USB first in iMacs. We were one of the first to get rid of optical drives, with the MacBook Air. And when we do this, sometimes people call us crazy. Sometimes you have to pick the right horses. Flash looks like it had its day but it's waning, and HTML5 looks like it's coming up... {warning: major factual inaccuracies impending} There's no smartphone shipping with Flash... {Flash on sites is} mostly ads... If the market tells us we're making bad choices, we'll make changes. We're just trying to make great products. We don't think this is great and we're going to leave it out."

On the lost fourth generation iPhone:

"There's an ongoing investigation. I can tell you what I do know, though. To make a product you need to test it. You have to carry them outside. One of our employees was carrying one. There's a debate about whether he left it in a bar, or it was stolen out of his bag. The person who found it tried to sell it, they called Engadget, they called Gizmodo. The person who took the phone plugged it into his roommates computer. And this guy was trying to destroy evidence... and his roommate called the police. So this is a story that's amazing it's got theft, it's got buying stolen property, it's got extortion, I'm sure there's some sex in there... the whole thing is very colourful. The DA is looking into it, and to my knowledge they have someone making sure they only see stuff that relates to this case. I don't know how it will end up."

On the spate of Foxconn suicides:

"It's a factory, but my gosh they have restaurants and movie theatres, but it's a factory. But they've had some suicides and attempted suicides and they have 400,000 people there. The rate is under what the US rate is, but it's still troubling." {Apple has since announced it will be contributing a 10 per cent rise to employee salaries}

Continued on page two...

Ala Miah

June 2, 2010, 7:12 pm

Why does he always wear that same damn black shirt and why does he look so anorexic? Is he that cheap?


June 2, 2010, 7:24 pm

Good to hear Jobs almost admit the Apple TV was a complete flop. Most people didn't really know what is was for. He's right when he says we all have a collection of boxes and remotes in our front room - and who wants that?

What I want my TV to do is to be able to watch SD and HDTV - Watch films, Stream content from my computer, watch internet tv (including catch up services like iplayer or 4od)and record content from live TV.

The latest generations of TV's support Freeview and Freeview HD - recording programs onto usb drives, online catch up services, love film for watching films and streaming form a computer. So that's all the boxes ticked. I think the future will be software that just makes doing this alot easier and user friendly. Google TV software integrated into new TV's is a great idea and means just one remote and no boxes needed!!

Walt Mossburg

June 2, 2010, 7:29 pm

I don't understand new things because I'm an old man and change scares me.


June 2, 2010, 8:08 pm

@Ala Miah. you do realise that he has had a liver transplant? that would account for the thin body. As for the shirt, i think he is so wealthy now that he doesnt care anymore. It made you comment so it obviously has an impact. Think of it as a personal trade mark!

Tim Sutton

June 2, 2010, 8:28 pm

The thing about Jobs that really creeps me out is the intense messianic attitude.

I'm a million per cent certain that if he didn't run a tech company he'd be barricaded in a compound in Waco with a hundred followers calling him 'Beloved Prophet Leader' and shooting at the FBI.

Ala Miah

June 2, 2010, 8:29 pm

@tomm783. No I was not aware he had a liver transplant - But if that is the reason then I wish him well.

As for the shirt, he looks bloody naff. When you have that much money, you should care, there is no point being rich and dressing like a pauper unless its a disney movie!


June 2, 2010, 8:32 pm

@Ala Miah - As per tomm783's comment - he underwent a liver transplant a few months ago - it led to Apple promoting Tim Cook to temporary CEO while Jobs was off sick. I'd say he doesn't look too bad for someone who's undergone a major (life-changing) operation.

@Drazisaurus - Hopefully Job's new found insight into the TV business, goes into making the next Apple TV box something I'd want to buy, instead of one of Apple's worst performers


June 2, 2010, 9:44 pm

Steve: People laugh at me when I say it's magical... but something has been stripped away and removed between you and the computer...

Kara: Well, the keyboard.

Priceless! lol Must admit that I am warming to the blind stubbornness of SJ, and for the first time i'm beginning to understand his take on Apple and the future of Apple products. I still firmly believe that take comes at a much too higher price, both financially and in terms of ceding way too much control to Apple, post purchase. Still, i'm grateful these products exist as it it enables me to spot the drones from a distance and avoid them, and gives all the other companies something to copy.


June 2, 2010, 10:04 pm

It's really nice to see him being so open. Considering how closed Apple normally are it's refreshing to see him answering most of these questions. Credit where credit is due, Apple bet wrong for most of the 90s and it was only with the iPod their luck changed and they have since won "race" after race to become the force they now are.

I agree with Jobs that the slate/tablet is the future of computing and our laptops and desktops will slowly become less and less relevant. The big question (IMO) is whether it'll be the iPad or whether Google with Android, MS with Windows or some other player (like Nokia/Intel and MeeGo) will be the dominant OS for the form factor. I think the closed nature of mobile OSX works for a mobile platform but I'm not sure it'll work for the slate form factor long term. At present this is just content consumption, of all these platforms Microsoft seem to be the only one that has a content creation at it's fore. Also lack of SD support, no USB, relying on a computer, etc are all factors they need to overcome in the future to make the iPad the device they are aiming for and to replace the laptop. While Apple have a great head start and will probably have 10 million iPads on the street before anyone else even begins to get any traction; Android caught up quickly with the iPhone, MS caught up with Linux on netbooks, so it's still a very much an open race and it'll be interesting to see where we stand a year from now.


June 2, 2010, 10:58 pm

@Walt Mossburg: Full marks for effort, but you spelt your name wrong.


June 2, 2010, 11:02 pm

@Chris Mosspuppet: SHUT UP!


June 3, 2010, 12:24 am

The thing that excited me was when he briefly mentioned video editing in terms of what may lie in the future of content creation in this new form factor. Of course, as an application, that probably represents the very worst nightmare for mobile devices that need to run on backlit screens, and lower powered processors with little or no room for fans for cooling considerations, but that really is a (say it with me Gordon) 'magical' and natural destination for something like Final Cut Pro - physically resizing video and audio tracks, tapping keyfames, and being able to directly place captions on the canvas yourself (which is still shoddily implemented via keyboard and mouse today). True, we've got a long way to go since Quicktime is currently only at 'Trim', but iPhone OS looks far more primed for the possibilities for of the future mobile media suite for editor DJing, photographer and even DJ as per PadDeckX

( http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-1... ).


June 3, 2010, 12:27 am

Steve Jobs has a high-pitched voice.


June 3, 2010, 12:38 am

@Gordon: LOL. Well yeah, you typo'd it too, "Walk Mossberg", but I was going to let that by :)

I'm really not the spelling police, honest. I'll shut up now...

@Pbryanw: There was a rumour that Apple were planning a new TV product with bits of iPad hardware, so maybe Steve is setting the stage for that.


June 3, 2010, 12:47 am

@Drazisaurus - I agree with you to a certain extent. However I'd want to go further, and in my future there is no TV. There might be a monitor in a room, it might be my phone or handheld device. I won't care what is broadcast, or indeed where my content comes from. I will just want to know what is available - I don't want to know what format - and then click / touch and watch it.


June 3, 2010, 3:32 am

I agree with Tim Sutton he is a bit Koresh as long as he takes down Stephen Fry I am happy. The trainers must stink to high heaven, all part of the image to be at total odds with your product which helps promote it. I also have concerns about the Ipad devotees on Regent Street not a big issue in sight it was very jarring.


June 4, 2010, 1:17 pm

I had to read that several times to be sure... did he really say that Google aren't a search company???

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