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Investors probe Apple's Jobs on successor, games, future products

post #1 of 81
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AppleInsider joined Apple investors, some of whom traveled from as far away as Europe, at the company's annual shareholders meeting in Cupertino on Tuesday, where Steve Jobs and his executive team were both grilled and lauded for their future outlook and strategy in terms of games, retail operations, corporate accountability, future product plans, and Jobs' future successor as chief executive.

Meet the Board

Jobs started by introducing Daniel Cooperman, Apple's new senior vice president, general counsel, and secretary, who conducted the official portion of the meeting. Jobs also introduced five other board members in attendance, including Bill Campbell, Al Gore, Google's Eric Schmidt, Genentech's Art Levinson, and retail expert Millard Drexler.

The newest member of the board, Avon CEO Andrea Jung, was busy traveling, but shareholders applauded Jobs' recruitment of a woman to serve on Apple's board. Executive diversity had been a subject that received attention from shareholders at previous meetings.

Shareholders were asked to vote to approve the reappointment of board members, which they did, as well as consider two issues raised by shareholders.

The first was a proposal initiated by the AFL-CIO Reserve Fund, which sought to initiate an annual referendum to issue a nonbinding opinion on executive compensation. The same measure only achieved 41% approval last year, but passed this year. Apple's board had recommended voting against the proposal both years, calling it a "blunt and insufficient instrument for registering dissatisfaction."

Jobs later quipped, "I'm hoping that the 'say on pay' proposal will help me with my $1 a year," an allusion to his famously low salary. Jobs has been compensated primarily though stock options, which have exploded in value over the last eight years as Apple's market valuation has rocketed upward.

The second proposal sought to set up a new corporate accountability group to monitor and respond to global issues, but investors did not approve of the measure. Following the official voting session, the meeting was adjourned and Jobs opened the floor up to comments.

Jobs on the Hot Seat

The first question presented by an attendee from San Francisco took on Apple's goals in the market for video games. "Gaming is bigger than Hollywood. With over $18 billion in cash, is Apple interested in, say, buying Valve to acquire Half Life in the manner that Microsoft bought up Mac game developer Bungie and turned what would have been a Mac game, Halo, into the main reason to by the Xbox and develop games using DirectX? What is Apple's strategy in games on the Mac, iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV? I ask this because games developers who appeared on stage at WWDC last year have made comments that suggest Apple isn't doing the things needed to support serious gaming. Are they wrong, or are you?"

Jobs responded by pointing out the Windows games released by EA for the Mac using Transgaming's Cider following last years WWDC, and noted support Apple has given to other Mac game developers, notably Apple Design Award winner World of Warcraft from Blizzard, but deflected interest in going head to head with Microsoft in the PC gaming business. He also noted the impending SDK release for the iPhone and iPod Touch would open the market for new opportunities for gaming.

After noting that he had other questions to ask but would get in line again to ask them, Jobs told him to go do that. At his next opportunity the attendee read from his notes saying, "Last year I asked about Apple's plans for .Mac, and we got better integration in Leopard and the new Web Galleries for publishing video and photos from iLife and the iPhone. Does Apple recognize the simpler potential of adding a blogging client to make text publishing just as easy? I would love to use .Mac more; the barriers have been slow uploads and limited bandwidth. Any plans to make .Mac more competitive and attractive?"

Jobs noted that there will be more .Mac applications released later in the year, and again noted that the iPhone SDK would enable third parties to address the subject of iPhone blogging "if Apple does not address it." Jobs then recommended that he learn Cocoa and write an iPhone blogger app himself.

When asked about video rental media availability in iTunes in terms of both quality and quantity, Jobs admitted that the studios have fallen behind in delivering content, mirroring the same kinds of issues labels had in setting up music within the first year of the iTunes Store. Jobs said the goal of 1000 rental titles was still short at around 600, and that quality varied from "spectacular to than less that what we'd like to see," but noted that the studios are working on difficult issues with gaining clearance for content created before anyone had contemplated Internet distribution. Existing films need to have rights lined up from talent and copyright owners who had never outlined their rights and royalties in terms of downloads, and work in those areas is accelerating.

An investor noted that the media often equates Jobs with Apple, and asked what would happen to Apple without Jobs. He responded by noting that the board already has several well qualified options to draw upon were he to be "hit by a bus," and expressed confidence in his executive team. "We've got great talent, and I think the board would have a few really good choices," Jobs said. Tim Cook has been cited by outside sources including the Wall Street Journal as a likely successor to Jobs.

iPhones in Asia and Macs in Business

Cook, who heads up Apple's operations, fielded several questions about Apple's plans internationally, including availability of the iPhone in India, China, and other parts of Asia. He specifically noted that Apple will enter Asia in 2008, but declined to provide any specific details about where, or whether the company had any specific plans related to the markets in China and India. "We will one day enter China, we're not saying when, and we will one day enter India," he said.

Jobs chimed in to note that "we already do business in those countries," and again expressed confidence in Apple's goal to sell 10 million iPhones in 2008. Cook also responded to worries about unlocked iPhones, noting that the company does make hardware profits on the iPhone, and that unlocked iPhones are really not the problem frequently represented in the media, but actually serve as an indication of high demand for the product.

Jobs also took the opportunity to get Cook to repeat the news that Apple passed Dell to become the top seller in the US education laptop market in 2007. When asked about the business market, Jobs pointed out that the consumer market is bigger than the business market, and that Apple is focusing on getting its products in front of consumers because individuals are more receptive to new things. Business users work behind "gatekeeper" CIOs, who restrict what gets purchased. In the consumer market, "everyone gets to choose," and many are bringing their Macs into business environments in a way that is accelerating business adoption of Macs.

Retail Stores

Returning for a third question, the original speaker asked, "Corporate responsibility and company valuation go beyond short term profits. Apple has addressed these issues in the past by leading in environmental factors, which has resulted in Macs commanding higher sale prices and profits compared to the average industry instant ewaste PCs, as well as in working quickly to address labor questions in China related to iPod manufacturing. What else is Apple doing to invest in the future and lead as a corporate citizen? Specifically, as a dynamically expanding retailer, is Apple comitted to paying retail employees here in the US living wages and hours that will support a high quality retail environment of highly motivated retail staff?"

Jobs seemed excited to address the questions, first delegating the subject of vendor responsibility to Cook, who noted that Apple delivered a code of conduct to all of its first tier vendors that it enforces vigorously. Cook stated that some vendors weren't taking it seriously, prompting Apple to cut off its relationships with them. He also noted that Apple has been expanding its standards to other tiers of vendors in addition to the companies it works with directly.

Jobs also introduced Ron Johnson, Apple's retail store maven, to comment on retail store employees. Johnson noted that Apple now has 15,000 retail employees who make up roughly half of the company. Unlike typical retail operations that have to deal with 80% annual turnover in employees, Johnson noted that Apple enjoys the opposite: 80% retention year over year. He noted that employees don't just have retail jobs, but have career paths as Creatives and Geniuses.

One former retail employee later commented to Jobs that moving from retail into engineering within Apple seemed too hard, forcing him to leave the company to find mobility elsewhere, and was later hired by Google. Along with several other people who stepped up to the mic, he also asked Jobs about the company's retail store plans, following similar comments from a woman from Wyoming who said she came specifically to attend the meeting. Would Apple consider building stores in rural states such as Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, North and South Dakota?

Johnson noted that Apple is moving into new markets further away from the larger population centers, and the company's ability to sell products and deliver a great retail experience are enabling growth potential. Johnson also noted that Apple is looking at retail locations in Idaho, Wyoming, and other more sparsely populated states to identify suitable locations.

Another investor from San Francisco asked the perennial question of whether Apple would be giving away its cash to investors in the form of a stock buyback or dividend. Jobs repeated that the company has no plans to do this, an answer he gives every year. Instead, Apple has voiced optimism that it can deliver greater growth and take advantage of strategic opportunities by holding its cash and using it to forge deals and possibly acquire other promising products or development teams.

I Can't Comment on Unannounced Products

A common answer to several questions was the favorite about not being able to reveal future plans. However, Jobs hesitated slightly when asked about the future of home server appliances. "Leopard Server pioneers wiki, blogging, calendar services that are really exceptional. Are there any plans to deliver an Xserve mini to bring theses kinds of services to consumers at an affordable price, like an embedded home server on the level of Apple TV and Time Capsule?'

Jobs seemed like he wanted to say something, but then punctuated the awkward silence with the typical refrain of not being able to say anything. Later, Jobs noted the phrase common within Apple referencing the idea that it's often executives who spill the beans: "Isn't it interesting, a ship that leaks from the top."

The comment was made in reference to a question of whether Apple TV would ever support free content supported by advertising. A student asked Jobs if it sounded like a good idea and if Apple had given the idea any thought. Jobs replied "yes," before backing up to note that he was not making any comments or announcements regarding future products.

Other questions fielded by Jobs included one from a young teenager wondering if the MacBook Air would ever get an optical drive or if Apple was expecting users to only buy movies from iTunes. Jobs answered by explaining that there are other MacBook models for users who want an optical drive, and that the Air was designed specifically for users who want high mobility. The young man seemed more satisfied with this answer than the rest of the media in general.

Another attendee asked why the iPod Touch ships with more storage capacity than the iPhone. Jobs explained that the iPhone has too much other internal antennas and chips to include the same amount of RAM as the simpler Touch, and suggested that future models of the Touch would likely maintain a certain amount of lead of storage capacity over the iPhone.
post #2 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

I Can't Comment on Unannounced Products

A common answer to several questions was the favorite about not being able to reveal future plans. However, Jobs hesitated slightly when asked about the future of home server appliances. "Leopard Server pioneers wiki, blogging, calendar services that are really exceptional. Are there any plans to deliver an Xserve mini to bring theses kinds of services to consumers at an affordable price, like an embedded home server on the level of Apple TV and Time Capsule?'

Jobs seemed like he wanted to say something, but then punctuated the awkward silence with the typical refrain of not being able to say anything. Later, Jobs noted the phrase common within Apple referencing the idea that it's often executives who spill the beans: "Isn't it interesting, a ship that leaks from the top."

Sweet Leopard Wikisever

for the househould

I would eat that up!
MacBook Pro 17" Glossy 2.93GHz, iPad 64GB, iPhone 4 16GB, and a lot of other assorted goodies.

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post #3 of 81
One BOD member in attendance you didn't note was Art Levinson, CEO of Genentech
who is also on the compensation committee.

You confused retail commentary as being from Drexler, when it was from Ron Johnson.

Aside from the passage of the "pay for play" ammendment being the main news event of
the day (many reporters were scribbling notes furiously when talking to the sponsor
after the meeting), I agree that the last "ship leaks from the top" comment from Jobs
was intriguing. Wasn't this in response to a student who asked whether Apple
would support some sort of advertiser-based free content on the Apple TV, wherein
Jobs actually said 'yes', so this could either be done with Google-style ad overlays
or via the Apple TV becoming a VCR, Tivo-style.
post #4 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by retiarius View Post

One BOD member in attendance you didn't note was Art Levinson, CEO of Genentech
who is also on the compensation committee.

You confused retail commentary as being from Drexler, when it was from Ron Johnson.

Aside from the passage of the "pay for play" ammendment being the main news event of
the day (many reporters were scribbling notes furiously when talking to the sponsor
after the meeting), I agree that the last "ship leaks from the top" comment from Jobs
was intriguing. Wasn't this in response to a student who asked whether Apple
would support some sort of advertiser-based free content on the Apple TV, wherein
Jobs actually said 'yes', so this could either be done with Google-style ad overlays
or via the Apple TV becoming a VCR, Tivo-style.

Interesting .. Very Interesting! I would love to hear more about this!
post #5 of 81
"Jobs chimed in to note that "we already do business in those countries," and again expressed confidence in Apple's goal to sell 10 million iPhones in 2008"

And there it is again, yet some still don't believe it. Anyone have a direct quote on this from the meeting?
post #6 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

"Jobs chimed in to note that "we already do business in those countries," and again expressed confidence in Apple's goal to sell 10 million iPhones in 2008"

And there it is again, yet some still don't believe it. Anyone have a direct quote on this from the meeting?

That's the goal =P I think we've been over this countless time, heh. It's "in" 2008, not "by 2008."

Best,

K
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post #7 of 81
I would buy an apple home server immediately.
post #8 of 81
I'd buy an Apple home server if it supported:
- Backup
- File sharing over the internet
- Sharing of iPhoto content between multiple computers (at once)
- Sharing of iTunes content between multiple computers (at once)

Of course, all could be done without it, but it might be a neat solution. Kinda .mac@home or something.
post #9 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by retiarius View Post

Aside from the passage of the "pay for play" ammendment being the main news event of the day (many reporters were scribbling notes furiously when talking to the sponsor after the meeting)...

Could you clarify this "pay for play" comment?

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

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post #10 of 81
Overall a very good report, Prince McLean.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #11 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasper View Post

That's the goal =P I think we've been over this countless time, heh. It's "in" 2008, not "by 2008."

Best,

K

Yep, we've been over it countless times. And yet, AI still gets it wrong some times (with a misquote, no less) in articles like this:

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...ier_model.html

So why can't you guys correct the error in that story?
post #12 of 81
There was an odd tone in the writing of this piece.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #13 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

There was an odd tone in the writing of this piece.

600 Mhz?

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post #14 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

Yep, we've been over it countless times. And yet, AI still gets it wrong some times (with a misquote, no less) in articles like this:

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...ier_model.html

So why can't you guys correct the error in that story?

Had I been aware that it read as such, it would have been corrected last week.

Thanks,

K
EIC- AppleInsider.com
Questions and comments to : kasper@appleinsider.com
Reply
EIC- AppleInsider.com
Questions and comments to : kasper@appleinsider.com
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post #15 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

There was an odd tone in the writing of this piece.

Yes... it seems to have been Drafted rather Roughly...
This "Prince McLean" certainly has a keen interest in discussing the activities of Mr. Daniel Dilger, without mentioning him by name.
post #16 of 81
Null.
Þ & þ are called "Thorn" & þey represent þe sound you've associated "th" wiþ since þe 13þ or 14þ century. I'm bringing it back.
<(=_=)> (>=_=)> <(=_=<) ^(=_=^) (^=_=)^ ^(=_=)^ +(=_=)+
Reply
Þ & þ are called "Thorn" & þey represent þe sound you've associated "th" wiþ since þe 13þ or 14þ century. I'm bringing it back.
<(=_=)> (>=_=)> <(=_=<) ^(=_=^) (^=_=)^ ^(=_=)^ +(=_=)+
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post #17 of 81
So THAT'S why I ain't had my daily dose of Roughly Drafted for the last few days! An interesting article will surely be the result
post #18 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slewis View Post

Hmm, what's so odd about it? Prince went to the shareholders meeting and these are his notes, nothing strange about it.

Sebastian

You have your view, I have mine.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #19 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

600 Mhz?

More like 666 MHz
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #20 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slewis View Post

Hmm, what's so odd about it? Prince went to the shareholders meeting and these are his notes, nothing strange about it.

Sebastian

yes indeed "young MBA wondering teenager"

Looking forward to RDM over the next few days
I don't see how an anti M$ stance can be seen as a bad thing on an Apple forum I really can't!

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I don't see how an anti M$ stance can be seen as a bad thing on an Apple forum I really can't!

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post #21 of 81
Null.
Þ & þ are called "Thorn" & þey represent þe sound you've associated "th" wiþ since þe 13þ or 14þ century. I'm bringing it back.
<(=_=)> (>=_=)> <(=_=<) ^(=_=^) (^=_=)^ ^(=_=)^ +(=_=)+
Reply
Þ & þ are called "Thorn" & þey represent þe sound you've associated "th" wiþ since þe 13þ or 14þ century. I'm bringing it back.
<(=_=)> (>=_=)> <(=_=<) ^(=_=^) (^=_=)^ ^(=_=)^ +(=_=)+
Reply
post #22 of 81
Quote:
Jobs noted that there will be more .Mac applications released later in the year, and again noted that the iPhone SDK would enable third parties to address the subject of iPhone blogging "if Apple does not address it." Jobs then recommended that he learn Cocoa and write an iPhone blogger app himself.


Classic Steve! Such an impractical suggestion, sort of a "stop whining and GTFO of my shareholder meeting!"
post #23 of 81
Quote:
Shareholders were asked to vote to approve the reappointment of board members, which they did, as well as consider two issues raised by shareholders.

The first was a proposal initiated by the AFL-CIO Reserve Fund, which sought to initiate an annual referendum to issue a nonbinding opinion on executive compensation. The same measure only achieved 41% approval last year, but passed this year. Apple's board had recommended voting against the proposal both years, calling it a "blunt and insufficient instrument for registering dissatisfaction."

Jobs later quipped, "I'm hoping that the 'say on pay' proposal will help me with my $1 a year," an allusion to his famously low salary. Jobs has been compensated primarily though stock options, which have exploded in value over the last eight years as Apple's market valuation has rocketed upward.


Apparently, Mr. Jobs still considers himself to be underpaid with illegally backdated stock options worth close to $1 billion. Now, for a high school graduate who couldn't undertake and complete a higher education, how much money is Steve Jobs asking for this time?

Whose not in touch with reality?


post #24 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by ouragan View Post

Apparently, Mr. Jobs still considers himself to be underpaid with illegally backdated stock options worth close to $1 billion. Now, for a high school graduate who couldn't undertake and complete a higher education, how much money is Steve Jobs asking for this time?

Whose not in touch with reality?



He was obviously making a joke. If you're unable to pick up on that "nuance", maybe you should spend a little more time pursuing higher education yourself.

And it should be "who's", by the way.
post #25 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by ouragan View Post

Apparently, Mr. Jobs still considers himself to be underpaid with illegally backdated stock options worth close to $1 billion. Now, for a high school graduate who couldn't undertake and complete a higher education, how much money is Steve Jobs asking for this time?

Whose not in touch with reality?



Before one posts this kind of hearsay maybe you should post some links to the facts. Btw, there's a lot of people in the computer, music, movie industries, etc. where one could say most of them are grossly overpaid too. That is the facts!!
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If you want to call me names, tell me to shut up and f off...you will be ignored. I WILL NOT BE BULLIED!!
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post #26 of 81
ouragan, maybe you should read a little more about Steve Jobs before you spout off some more inaccuracies:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Jobs
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post #27 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slewis View Post

The thing is, you might be right about why it's odd, I just don't know why you're saying it's odd, but shh anyway.

Sebastian

Just doesn't seem a like straight up report. Seems oddly biased towards Steve. And shh? No.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #28 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Just doesn't seem a like straight up report. Seems oddly biased towards Steve. And shh? No.

I thought it favored SJ in a pissy mood myself from the point of view that he has hit the big time and doesn't want to be bothered with little details like iPhone's in China and why a teenager is asking about the MBA.
Hard-Core.
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Hard-Core.
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post #29 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The second proposal sought to set up a new corporate accountability group to monitor and respond to global issues, but investors did not approve of the measure.

In a way it's a shame this proposal was not approved. However, I have to admit the way Apple packages its products seem to use a minimum of materials, especially those most obviously detrimental to the environment (e.g. styrofoam).

I've also noted on eBay, those who keep all of their packing materials, find it easier to sell their lovingly used Apple products than without.

It can be very difficult for computer manufacturers to control what goes in to their products as so many of the components are made by other companies (e.g. Intel chipsets and CPUs). So, it's not just Apple but other component developers who all need to work together to reduce toxic materials use.

Still, Apple needs to continue reducing toxic material use because the company continues to be viewed as an adjunct to environmental and fair-trade initiatives.

YipYipYipee
post #30 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

600 Mhz?

wouldn't a tone be 60hz, 600hz, or 6000hz?
post #31 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Johnson noted that Apple is moving into new markets further away from the larger population centers, and the company's ability to sell products and deliver a great retail experience are enabling growth potential. Johnson also noted that Apple is looking at retail locations in Idaho, Wyoming, and other more sparsely populated states to identify suitable locations.

I can envision Apple taking on a kiosk concept like Dell, but certain services like Concierge and Genius Bar would have to be addressed in some other ways.

YipYipYipee
post #32 of 81
Two of today's five headlines contain versions of the word "probe."

Do you guys not have a thesaurus, or are you obsessed with invasive diagnostic procedures?
post #33 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by ouragan View Post

Now, for a high school graduate who couldn't undertake and complete a higher education, how much money is Steve Jobs asking for this time?

Define education. Nope, that's not it.
post #34 of 81
Can anyone explain why Mr. Quicken is still on the Board of Directors?
Shouldn't Apple's board members show at least a passing interest in the Mac platform?
The evil that we fight is but the shadow of the evil that we do.
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The evil that we fight is but the shadow of the evil that we do.
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post #35 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Could you clarify this "pay for play" comment?

oops, meant "say on pay".
other points have now been noted in prince's rewrite.
post #36 of 81
Quote:
Jobs noted that there will be more .Mac applications released later in the year, and again noted that the iPhone SDK would enable third parties to address the subject of iPhone blogging "if Apple does not address it." Jobs then recommended that he learn Cocoa and write an iPhone blogger app himself.

Nice to see he's making it abundantly clear at the shareholder's meeting.
post #37 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by ouragan View Post

Apparently, Mr. Jobs still considers himself to be underpaid with illegally backdated stock options worth close to $1 billion. Now, for a high school graduate who couldn't undertake and complete a higher education, how much money is Steve Jobs asking for this time?

Whose not in touch with reality?



It would be nice if you got the facts right.
post #38 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

Can anyone explain why Mr. Quicken is still on the Board of Directors?

Because his experience and insight are helpful.

Shouldn't Apple's board members show at least a passing interest in the Mac platform?[/QUOTE]

No, not really. His legal concern is to his own company. He can't develop products for Apple if he thinks that won't be good for his own company.
post #39 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Nice to see he's making it abundantly clear at the shareholder's meeting.

One good thing from that exchange is that he's telling us that such an app will be possible on the iPhone.
post #40 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

One good thing from that exchange is that he's telling us that such an app will be possible on the iPhone.

Guaranteed. Just start writing Cocoa Services that you extend to work with your Cocoa embedded iPhone application.
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