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Apple's Jobs addresses critics, new product directions

post #1 of 30
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At Apple's annual shareholders meeting on Thursday, chief executive Steve Jobs ran into some fresh sources of criticism and also commented on some new products and strategies, such as third-party iPhone application development and the future of the company's .Mac online services.

After appeasing environmentally friendly investors by publishing new commitments to publicize Apple's environmental work in driving non-toxic manufacturing and product takeback and recycling efforts, Jobs was introduced to a new bundle of critics: labor union managers.

Impassioned outrage from Brandon Reese, a representative of the AFL-CIO, was echoed by representatives of the Teamsters and Con Hitchcock, an attorney with Amalgamated Bank. According to the bank's website, Amalgamated is "the only fully union-owned U.S. bank still in operation," and "remains firmly committed to its role as partner to the labor movement."

An article in the San Francisco Chronicle written by Ellen Lee characterized the union speakers as representative of Apple's shareholders, but two proposals they advanced by the speakers were not supported by shareholders' votes.

A number of attendees at the meeting gasped in disbelief when a union representative tried to dramatically evoke Watergate by asking Jobs, "What did you know, and when did you know it?," in relation to backdated options.

Hitchcock described backdated options as a cancer eating at the company, while also noting that Apple no longer uses stock options incentives as part of its compensation plans for employees and executives.Â*

Jobs appeared eager to put the entire matter to rest, citing SEC statements that praised Apple for handling its backdating issues with prompt and transparent cooperation. He then moved on to other questions about Apple's future products.

On Apple's mobile phone strategy

When asked about the company's mobile phone plans, Jobs jumped at the opportunity to pull out an iPhone that had been hiding in his pocket. He went on to address the vast potential within the mobile market and expressed confidence in Apple's new product, but noted, "we're beginners, and we have a lot to learn."Â*

Other Apple executives, including COO Tim Cook, were also unreserved about showing off the iPhones they were carrying. Cook pulled out his iPhone after the meeting and casually flicked through a list of contacts with his finger.Â*

"A few of us have been using the iPhone a lot," Jobs said during his question and answer session. "If you wanted it back, you would have to pry it from our dead hands."Â*

Jobs said the company was on track to ship the iPhone next month, in part because of his decision to delay the launch of Mac OS X Leopard from late spring to early fall in order to devote development resources to the iPhone. "Leopard will be worth the wait," Jobs insisted.Â*

After being questioned about the amount of money the company invests in research and development, Jobs said Apple's capacity to deliver new products is limited only by its ability to find talented new employees capable of great work. "I wish developing great products was as easy as writing a check," he said. "If that were the case, then Microsoft would have great products."

On third-party iPhone apps

When asked about the iPhone's closed development platform and whether the company recognized the need of large institutions to build their own applications for the handset, Jobs replied that Apple was "wrestling" to balance the requirements for security and stability with the desire for custom application development.

The Apple co-founder provided less information about the future of Apple TV. When asked about the potential for movie rentals from the iTunes Store, Jobs responded by simply saying, "one never knows."Â*

On the future of .Mac

In response to a question about Apple's minimal efforts in updating its languishing .Mac online services -- particularly in comparison to the rapid development in Apple's hardware, software, and retail business segments -- Jobs admitted that .Mac had fallen behind. "We have not achieved our full potential," he said, adding that the company planned to soon release a new set of initiatives for .Mac.Â*

Apple has already announced some new features for .Mac in Leopard, including the sync of Dashboard items across Macs linked under an account, but the potential for .Mac integration to play a major role in both Leopard and on the iPhone has not been given a lot of attention. Jobs indicated Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference would shed more light on the subject next month.Â*

During the shareholders meeting, Jobs also entertained the suggestion that Apple could mimic Microsoft's strategy of offering developing nations Windows Starter Edition -- a low cost version of Windows XP as an alternative to the much more expensive Windows Vista. "Do you think we should offer Mac OS 9?" Jobs quipped in response.

"I think Apple could sell the developing world Tiger while selling Leopard here," the attendee replied.Â*Jobs paused for a moment and said that could be an option.Â*
post #2 of 30
Good job... this fleshes out the tone of the meeting a bit better.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #3 of 30
Viva La .mac!!

I'm ready to sign up as a new user once Leopard hits.
He's a mod so he has a few extra vBulletin privileges. That doesn't mean he should stop posting or should start acting like Digital Jesus.
- SolipsismX
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He's a mod so he has a few extra vBulletin privileges. That doesn't mean he should stop posting or should start acting like Digital Jesus.
- SolipsismX
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post #4 of 30
alright, let the union bashing begin!
post #5 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple Insider article by Daniel Eran Dilger

"I think Apple could sell the developing world Tiger while selling Leopard here," the attendee replied. Jobs paused for a moment and said that could be an option.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roughly Drafted article by Daniel Eran Dilger

I snuck in one more question:

"Will Apple be targeting developing countries with Mac OS X in the way that Microsoft is working to sell Windows Vista Starter, which is essentially Windows XP re-badged for the third world?"

Jobs jokingly asked if I thought Apple should sell Mac OS 9, eliciting some laughs from the audience. No, I said, I think Apple could sell the developing world Tiger while selling Leopard here.

Jobs paused for a moment and said that could be an option.

After the meeting, I briefly talked to Apple COO Tim Cook, who pulled out his own iPhone and scrolled around on it. This isnt a prototype mockup; they actually use it as their regular phone. I'd seen the device in its dramatic glass hyperbolic chamber at Macworld Expo, but it looks even smaller in person.

I'm so ready to kill my Palm Treo to get one.


I wonder why he chose not to mention he was the attendee who replied?
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post #6 of 30
I would give Tiger away to developing nations once Leopard is let loose.
Hard-Core.
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Hard-Core.
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post #7 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I wonder why he chose not to mention he was the attendee who replied?

I suppose AI articles are meant to be more about the content than the author. But I also chuckled at the anonymity of the writing, having already read the corresponding RDM article.
post #8 of 30
Good on ya, Daniel!
post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Good job... this fleshes out the tone of the meeting a bit better.

Here's an even better report IMO.

Roughly Drafted
post #10 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by aplnub View Post

I would give Tiger away to developing nations once Leopard is let loose.

I think Apple should take it a step further, to be honest. If I were in charge, I'd release Tiger free for old Macs and even PCs. Well... maybe I'll charge the PC weenies 20 bucks or something, but nothing much. I'd then make sure Leopard only ran on Macs.

What do you think the conversion rate would be? Do you think Gates would die from a heart attack? How much sweat would Ballmer.... uh... sweat?
post #11 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gambit View Post

I think Apple should take it a step further, to be honest. If I were in charge, I'd release Tiger free for old Macs and even PCs. Well... maybe I'll charge the PC weenies 20 bucks or something, but nothing much. I'd then make sure Leopard only ran on Macs.

There might be a slight hardware compatibility issue with that.

To make this work I imagine Apple would have to:
• Create a new version of Tiger for developing nations that removes drivers and support files for current Mac hardware.
• Only adds drivers for pre-approved hardware configurations, even if Apple isn't making money off the hardware (i.e.: OLPC driver sets.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #12 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by aplnub View Post

I would give Tiger away to developing nations once Leopard is let loose.

Outstanding idea.

But it's the hardware cost with Apple that is beyond the reach of developing economies.
post #13 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by physguy View Post

Here's an even better report IMO.

Roughly Drafted

Aha... so Trillium owns more than just a few shares...

From the article:
Quote:
"Jobs' Challenges Greenpeace Incompetence"

I'm pretty sure the author meant, "Jobs Challenges Greenpeace's Competence"... For the love of Pete, is it completely unheard of for someone to proofread before posting? This whole philosophy of "post first, think later" is tiresome.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #14 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"I think Apple could sell the developing world Tiger while selling Leopard here,"

OS X 10.4.10 "Bobcat"

A stripped down version of Tiger with new code to optimize it for use on even the oldest iMac and PowerMac systems. Designed for very small hard drives (By today's standards), little RAM, and slow processors. Basically it would work with everything introduced since Jobs came back to Apple, it would be a no frills, just work version of the OS that still retained a part of its power (Spotlight, Dashboard lite, etc...).

Quote:
Originally Posted by aplnub View Post

I would give Tiger away to developing nations once Leopard is let loose.

Tiger is already being "given away" as the open-source Darwin project. It would certainly be plausible.
"Picasso had a saying, 'Good artists copy, great artists steal.' And we've always been shameless about stealing great ideas."
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"Picasso had a saying, 'Good artists copy, great artists steal.' And we've always been shameless about stealing great ideas."
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post #15 of 30
Quote:
"I wish developing great products was as easy as writing a check," [Jobs] said. "If that were the case, then Microsoft would have great products."

BAM! Total Microsoft body-SLAM! Gates looks woozy, and Ballmer ineffectually throws a chair into the ring from the corner! 9.0,9.5, and a 10.0 from the judge from Romania!!!


.
Cut-copy-paste, MMS, landscape keyboard, video-recording, voice-calling, and more... FINALLY
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Cut-copy-paste, MMS, landscape keyboard, video-recording, voice-calling, and more... FINALLY
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post #16 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by AeronPrometheus View Post

OS X 10.4.10 "Bobcat"

A stripped down version of Tiger with new code to optimize it for use on even the oldest iMac and PowerMac systems. Designed for very small hard drives (By today's standards), little RAM, and slow processors. Basically it would work with everything introduced since Jobs came back to Apple, it would be a no frills, just work version of the OS that still retained a part of its power (Spotlight, Dashboard lite, etc...).

The danger in that is making the OS capable of running on regular PC's and loosing [hardware] market share to people who buy new "tricked out" PC's to run it on. Also, you have to be careful about slimming it down too much and loosing compatibility with common hardware, especially printers and cameras.
post #17 of 30
apple could re-release the lampshade iMac at a rock bottom price. call it the wMac [welfare Mac]
bundle tiger.
post #18 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by desarc View Post

apple could re-release the lampshade iMac at a rock bottom price. call it the wMac [welfare Mac]
bundle tiger.

If you ever get a job marketing for Apple I wouldn't reference your "welfare Mac" idea.
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post #19 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

If you ever get a job marketing for Apple I wouldn't reference your "welfare Mac" idea.

Quite.

I'm an RDM reader too and I find Daniel's 3rd world Mac question to Jobs a bit odd. It's something MS can do with only moderate difficulties with Windows since it's just software. (Moderate difficulty = most people with computers in the countries in question run pirated full windows versions anyway! There's simply no enforcement out there.) With Macs meanwhile, it's about hardware. Unless we open up the old can of worms called "Beige Box OS X" which surely the wise author wouldn't touch with a bargepole.

Hmm

I'll admit, Apple's ZERO presence in the developing world is a problem I've been bothered with for some time. But there's no obvious solution, well besides shipping out old Macs. Better that Linux gets some sort of a foothold there (the politics and the OLPC are both looking about right) so that Macs can come later on down the line, when significant populations are sufficiently wealthy. Better the kid coders in the devoloping world learn open standards than MS ones!
post #20 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuyutsuki View Post

I'll admit, Apple's ZERO presence in the developing world is a problem I've been bothered with for some time. But there's no obvious solution, well besides shipping out old Macs.

Well, there is.

SJ could start to use some of his wealth to do some good around the world.

Say what you will about BG, but his money -- ill-gotten as it might be, from a monopoly -- has done great good.

\
post #21 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Well, there is.

SJ could start to use some of his wealth to do some good around the world.

Say what you will about BG, but his money -- ill-gotten as it might be, from a monopoly -- has done great good.

\

And yet my parents taught me that the end does not justify the means.
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post #22 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

And yet my parents taught me that the end does not justify the means.

Hmmm.... I wonder if that is perhaps too simplistic an interpretation of what your parents taught you.

Let me ask you two questions:

1) If you were a recipient of, say, Gates Foundation funds for malaria reduction, you are saying you would refuse it because it was tainted, having resulted from monopoly profits?

2) Which is better: These ill-gotten gains (obtained through less-than desirable 'means') are diverted to socially desirable 'ends' -- I don't want to get into an argument over what is 'socially desirable,' so let's assume, for the sake of argument that we agree on it -- or not at all?

If I understand you correctly, your answer to (1) is "yes," and to (2) "not at all"?
post #23 of 30
Mac OS X is balanced by design. A stripped down OS is unbalanced and creates a void that will invariably be filled by third parties with solutions of varying quality, and integration and usability.
By having one OS, Apple leads by strengthening its OS at a time when many ask the question, "What defines an OS? What is an operating system?" Apple respects the whole, and thus defines it.
post #24 of 30
Each OS is designed in relation to the other OSes. They do not exist in a vacuum.
With one OS, Apple has more creative freedom. New users and developers are encouraged to upgrade. The value of the upgrade is greater. It is the new development platform. Many will upgrade. There will be innovation and growth.
If an older OS has more share then the new, that could hinder growth of the new platform, i would think.
post #25 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Hmmm.... I wonder if that is perhaps too simplistic an interpretation of what your parents taught you.

Let me ask you two questions:

1) If you were a recipient of, say, Gates Foundation funds for malaria reduction, you are saying you would refuse it because it was tainted, having resulted from monopoly profits?

2) Which is better: These ill-gotten gains (obtained through less-than desirable 'means') are diverted to socially desirable 'ends' -- I don't want to get into an argument over what is 'socially desirable,' so let's assume, for the sake of argument that we agree on it -- or not at all?

If I understand you correctly, your answer to (1) is "yes," and to (2) "not at all"?

Personally I thinks its your interpretation that is too simplistic. Of course the answer to (1) is 'no' the funds should be accepted, BUT, that act has NO reflection on BG as a person or his actions. His previous actions are not justified just because of this.

Re (2) again, given the fact that the 'gains' exist they can/should be used as best they can but again that doesn't make the holder someone to put forth as a shining example.

It could very well be argued that these 'socially desirable ends' would have been better served if BG had not abused his position in the first place, thereby making computation resources more affordable to everyone years ago thereby improving education and reducing malaria even further than through the current path.

Hence the 'ends don't justify the means'.
post #26 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider

Jobs admitted that .Mac had fallen behind. "We have not achieved our full potential," he said, adding that the company planned to soon release a new set of initiatives for .Mac

I bloddy hope so, it's fallen behind like a slow cow. The existing service should be free. They should rename is '.Slack'
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post #27 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"I wish developing great products was as easy as writing a check," he said. "If that were the case, then Microsoft would have great products."

Quote:
Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post

BAM! Total Microsoft body-SLAM! Gates looks woozy, and Ballmer ineffectually throws a chair into the ring from the corner! 9.0,9.5, and a 10.0 from the judge from Romania!!!

post #28 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by physguy View Post

Personally I thinks its your interpretation that is too simplistic. Of course the answer to (1) is 'no' the funds should be accepted, BUT, that act has NO reflection on BG as a person or his actions. His previous actions are not justified just because of this.

Re (2) again, given the fact that the 'gains' exist they can/should be used as best they can but again that doesn't make the holder someone to put forth as a shining example.

It could very well be argued that these 'socially desirable ends' would have been better served if BG had not abused his position in the first place, thereby making computation resources more affordable to everyone years ago thereby improving education and reducing malaria even further than through the current path.

Hence the 'ends don't justify the means'.

Let me just suggest that you actually read what I originally wrote, before making attributions to things that I never said (or implied), such as "[BG's] actions are justified," or "[BG] is a shining example" etc.

My main point is, I do think that SJ is a bit chintzy with his wealth. Of course, that is based on what is publicly known, so I admit I could be misjudging him based on what he does in private and in quiet.
post #29 of 30
Jeez, BG is a hard-nosed geek that made good. Nothing overly sinister about him and what he does with his money is altruistic.

"Monopolistic practices" brought computing down from the ivory and corporate towers to the masses. What? Do folks really think that if IBM retained dominance that the world would be a better place? Or even Apple?

Folks whine for Netscape, Sun and even Apple. They had their chance and blew it. Had they not they would be Google...and don't believe that Google is THAT much a better corporate citizen than MS. In fact their lawyers are very bit as effective as that of Microsoft and they are equally unafraid to use their dominating status.

Vinea
post #30 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Jeez, BG is a hard-nosed geek that made good. Nothing overly sinister about him and what he does with his money is altruistic.

"Monopolistic practices" brought computing down from the ivory and corporate towers to the masses. What? Do folks really think that if IBM retained dominance that the world would be a better place? Or even Apple?

Folks whine for Netscape, Sun and even Apple. They had their chance and blew it. Had they not they would be Google...and don't believe that Google is THAT much a better corporate citizen than MS. In fact their lawyers are very bit as effective as that of Microsoft and they are equally unafraid to use their dominating status.

Vinea

I agree 100% with your sentiments, sir!
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