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.
Our goal is really easy -- we just made a tech decision. We aren't going to make an effort to put this on our platform. We told Adobe to show us something better, and they never did. It wasn't until we shipped the iPad that Adobe started to raise a stink about it. We weren't trying to have a fight, we just decided to not use one of their products. They made a big deal of it -- that's why I wrote that letter. I said enough is enough, we're tired of these guys trashing us.
On the Valleywag email argument:
He never identified himself as a journalist. I was up late and working and this guy starts sending me obnoxious emails... and I wanted to straighten this guy out. I'm just enough of a sucker... and he publishes it!
On the lost iPhone:
There's an ongoing investigation ... 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 Foxconn suicides:
On where iPhone OS actually started:
We are on top of this. We look at everything at these companies. I can tell you a few things that we know. And we are all over this. Foxconn is not a sweatshop. It's a factory -- but my gosh, they have restaurants and movie theaters... 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.
On whether he believes they're fighting a platform war with Google:
I never have. We never saw ourselves in a platform war with Microsoft, and maybe that's why we lost. We just wanted to make the best thing -- we just thought about how can we build a better product. They decided to compete with us... so they are.
On... something about Android, but really we have no idea:
My sex life is pretty good.
Why he likes working for consumers rather than enterprise:
What I love about the marketplace is that we do our products, we tell people about them, and if they like them, we get to come to work tomorrow. It's not like that in enterprise... the people who make those decisions are sometimes confused.
On the Siri purchase:
They're not a search company. They're an AI company. We have no plans to go into the search business. We don't care about it -- other people do it well.
On AT&T's network performance:
[It's] pretty good actually. Remember, they're handling way more data traffic than all of their other competitors combined.
On the possible advantage of another carrier for the iPhone:
There might be. You know I can't comment on that.
On changing the game with the iPad:
I remember telling you I thought handwriting was the slowest input method ever. We reimagined the tablet -- we didn't do what Microsoft did. They had a totally different idea than us. And that drove everything. Their tablet was based on a PC. It had the battery life, the weight, it needed a cursor like a PC. But the minute you throw a stylus out, you have the precision of a finger. You can't use a PC OS. You have to create it from scratch.
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.
On the iPad's effect on print media:
I think the foundation of a free society is a free press. And we've seen what's happening to papers in the US right now. I think they're really important. ... I can tell you as one of the largest sellers of content on the internet to date -- price it aggressively and go for volume. That has worked for us. I'm trying to get the press to do the same thing. They need to do it differently than they do it for print.
On whether the tablet will replace the laptop computer:
When we were an agrarian nation, all cars were trucks. But as people moved more towards urban centers, people started to get into cars. I think PCs are going to be like trucks. Less people will need them. And this is going to make some people uneasy.
On the iPhone platform's "openness":
Well let me first say we have two platforms we support. One is open and uncontrolled -- that's HTML5. We support HTML5. We have the best support for it of anyone in the world. We then support a curated platform which is the App Store. It is the most vital app community on any platform. How do we curate this? It's a bunch of people, and they come into work every day. We have a few rules: has to do what it's advertised to do, it has to not crash, it can't use private APIs. And those are the three biggest reasons we reject apps. But we approve 95% of all the apps that are submitted every week.
On the rejected cartoonist:
We had a rule that said you can't defame other people ... and political cartoons got caught in that. We didn't think of that. So this guy submits his app and he gets rejected. We didn't see that coming. So we changed the rule, but this guy never resubmitted... then he wins a Pulitzer Prize, and he says we rejected him. So, we are guilty of making mistakes. We're doing the best we can, we're learning as fast as we can -- but we thought this rule made sense.
On rejected developers who complain:
What happens is -- people lie. And then they run to the press and tell people about this oppression, and they get their fifteen minutes of fame. We don't run to the press and say, "This guy is a son of a bitch liar!" -- we don't do that.
On what he does day-to-day at the company:
One of the keys to Apple is that Apple is an incredibly collaborative company. You know how many committees we have at Apple? Zero. We're organized like a startup. We're the biggest start up on the planet. We meet for three hours every morning and talk about all the business, about what's going on everywhere. We're great at figuring out how to divide things up into great teams, and we talk to each other. So what I do all day is meet with teams of people.
On what he plans to do for the next 10 years:
You know, when this whole thing with Gizmodo happened, I got advice from people who said 'You gotta just let it slide, you shouldn't go after a journalist just because they bought stolen property and tried to extort you.' And I thought deeply about this, and I concluded the worst thing that could happen is if we change our core values and let it slide. I can't do that. I'd rather quit.
On privacy in iAds and elsewhere:
You go back 5 or 10 years, what would you do... we're not going into that... we have the same values that we had back then. The core values are the same. We come into work wanting to do the same thing that we did back then -- build the best products. Nothing makes my day more than getting a random email from someone talking about how cool the iPad is. That's what keeps me going. That's what kept me going back then, and now, and will keep me going in the future.
We take privacy really seriously. Take location on phones -- we take this really seriously. Before any app can get location data, they can't just put up a panel asking if it can use location -- they call our
panel and it asks you if it's okay. That's one of the reasons we have the curated App Store.
On limiting analytics sharing to firms like Flurry:
On content producers dealing directly with customers:
Well, we learned this really interesting thing. Some company called Flurry had data on devices that we were using
on our campus -- new devices. They were getting this info by getting developers to put software in their apps that sent info back to this company! So we went through the roof. It's violating our privacy policies, and it's pissing us off! So we said we're only going to allow analytics that don't give our device info -- only for the purpose of advertising. .... There's no excuse for them not asking customers if it's okay to send that data. We're willing to talk to some of these people when we calm down... but it's not today.
Steve: We want to let people watch whatever they want, when they want. That's what needs to change.
Walt: When is that happening?
Steve: It's happening now. ... I even think you'll be able to watch a first run movie before it hits theaters... if you want to spend a bunch of money.
On improvements in AT&T's service:
I'm told that a lot of places are getting better certainly by the end of this summer. [And if they don't get better by then,] then they won't.
In answer to a question on allowing access to the iPhone OS' filesystem:
There's a lot of things we're working on... We should chat.
Lots more over on Engadget's liveblog