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Playboy Magazine interviews Jobs
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mabaker
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Nov 22, 2010, 07:43 AM
 
An amazing read.

Playboy Interview - Steven Jobs

Notable quote:

The developments will be in making the products more and more portable, networking them, getting out laser printers, getting out shared data bases, getting out more communications ability, maybe the merging of the telephone and the personal computer.

If, for some reason, we make some giant mistakes and IBM wins, my personal feeling is that we are going to enter sort of a computer Dark Ages for about 20 years. Once IBM gains control of a market sector, they almost always stop innovation.




He did just that in 2007. It’ an amazing perspective.
     
Eug
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Nov 22, 2010, 01:07 PM
 
"maybe the merging of the telephone and the personal computer"

Heh. I predicted that in the 90s. He had me beat by almost 10 years.
     
SpaceMonkey
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Nov 22, 2010, 01:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by mabaker
He did just that in 2007. It’ an amazing perspective.
Not before plenty of other people had done it first. Steve Jobs invented smartphones now? Come on.

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Eug
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Nov 22, 2010, 01:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
Not before plenty of other people had done it first. Steve Jobs invented smartphones now? Come on.
Well, I've owned a lot phones, and IMHO Apple did invent the first really usable smartphone. Everything else beforehand majorly sucked in comparison.
     
Big Mac
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Nov 22, 2010, 01:20 PM
 
Smart Phones weren't really all that smart before the iPhone. I agree that it's a pretty amazing prediction.

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SpaceMonkey
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Nov 22, 2010, 01:23 PM
 
BlackBerry defined the concept popularly waaaaay before the iPhone, even if the iPhone refined it. I'm sorry, Apple can't take credit for this one.

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Eug
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Nov 22, 2010, 01:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
BlackBerry defined the concept popularly waaaaay before the iPhone, even if the iPhone refined it. I'm sorry, Apple can't take credit for this one.
Except that even today's Blackberrys (Blackberries?) aren't even as nice as the 2007 iPhone. They still suck IMO, esp. as "merging of computers and telephones".

Think of it this way. The iPad is really just a giant iPhone (without voice), yet it can almost be used as a computer. However, if you blew up an older Blackberry to a giant size, you'd get an abomination.

     
SpaceMonkey
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Nov 22, 2010, 01:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
Except that even today's Blackberrys (Blackberries?) aren't even as nice as the 2007 iPhone. They still suck IMO.
Doesn't matter. I'm talking about the invention, not the implementation. I don't even know if BlackBerry invented the smartphone, but it certainly defined the concept in the public's mind way before the iPhone.

By comparison: you'd have a better argument that Apple invented the MP3 player (even if technically they didn't), if only because in short order it was fairly common for people to call any MP3 player an "iPod."

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Eug
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Nov 22, 2010, 01:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
Doesn't matter. I'm talking about the invention, not the implementation. I don't even know if BlackBerry invented the smartphone, but it certainly defined the concept in the public's mind way before the iPhone.
Actually, it is precisely the implementation that matters.

Apple invented the Newton, but it was a poor implementation. IOW, they are not responsible for the PDA market IMO.

Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
By comparison: you'd have a better argument that Apple invented the MP3 player (even if technically they didn't), if only because in short order it was fairly common for people to call any MP3 player an "iPod."
Ironically, I disagree on this point too. There were lots of MP3 players on the market that played MP3s just fine. However, the difference with Apple is the creation of the iTunes Music Store.

Perhaps my view on the subject differs though because in 2010 I still almost never use the iTMS. I still buy CDs and rip my own stuff, just like I did before iTunes.
     
SpaceMonkey
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Nov 22, 2010, 01:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
Actually, it is precisely the implementation that matters.

Apple invented the Newton, but it was a poor implementation. IOW, they are not responsible for the PDA market IMO.
Even that doesn't really help your argument considering Apple and RIM's respective marketshare. Clearly BlackBerry's overall implementation is not so poor that people aren't using it (in greater numbers than the iPhone, apparently) 10+ years after its original debut.

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Eug
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Nov 22, 2010, 02:15 PM
 
And even more people use dumb phones, but they still include stuff like MP3 playback, calendars, contact lists, etc. In fact, my "high-end" phone from the 90s had productivity applets and games on it too. So, I'm not sure what you're saying here.

What I'm saying is that as a device that merges computers and phones, the iPhone is it, with Android being number 2 now. Blackberry phones weren't even close in 2007.
     
SpaceMonkey
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Nov 22, 2010, 02:23 PM
 
What I'm saying is that even if Steve Jobs was musing about "the merging of the telephone and the personal computer" in the 1980s, he didn't attempt to do anything about it until many years after someone else had already tried and succeeded in dominating the market for that kind of device. Therefore, he doesn't get credit for inventing the smartphone. He gets credit for trying to make it better, certainly.

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savvy.gaile
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Nov 22, 2010, 11:16 PM
 
Of course he doesn't get credit for inventing the smart phone.
What he could be given credit though is making the smart phone
more popular than it ever was. The smart phone has been around
long before the iPhone but it was the iPhone that made the smart
phone a household name.
     
Shaddim
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Nov 22, 2010, 11:30 PM
 
Sorry, the iPhone was the first smartphone that was worth a sh*t. I had an early Blackberry, it was garbage.
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SpaceMonkey
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Nov 23, 2010, 01:10 AM
 
I'm not disputing that may be the case for you. But clearly it wasn't "the first smartphone worth a sh*t" in the grand scheme of things, given the success of those before it.

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Shaddim
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Nov 23, 2010, 02:58 AM
 
Yes, it was. They were so bad I actually went back to "dumbphones" before the iPhone.
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Spheric Harlot
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Nov 23, 2010, 05:08 AM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
Ironically, I disagree on this point too. There were lots of MP3 players on the market that played MP3s just fine. However, the difference with Apple is the creation of the iTunes Music Store.
That didn't happen until a while after the iPod came out, and it was pretty clear then already that iPod was a completely different animal.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Nov 23, 2010, 05:10 AM
 
Also, FWIW, I think the whole interview is an amazing read, FULL of fascinating quotes and viewpoints.

The phone/computer prediction is, IMHO, one of the *least* interesting points.
     
Paco500
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Nov 23, 2010, 09:55 AM
 
My first smartphone:

Loved this thing.
     
SpaceMonkey
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Nov 23, 2010, 10:14 AM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
Yes, it was. They were so bad I actually went back to "dumbphones" before the iPhone.
If you can explain to me why there was a growing smartphone industry with multiple competing manufacturers before the iPhone, yet none of them were "worth a sh*t," I'm all ears. Clearly they were worth something to quite a few people.

I'm not saying Apple wasn't innovative with the iPhone. I'm just saying they didn't invent the smartphone concept, which is what I felt the OP was driving at.

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Spheric Harlot
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Nov 23, 2010, 10:16 AM
 
Because there was an existing need that people were trying to fill by trying out different products?
     
SpaceMonkey
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Nov 23, 2010, 10:20 AM
 
And clearly those products filled some of those needs. I'm not going to debate the impact the iPhone has had (which I agree is substantial) but I don't see how you can give Apple the credit for "merging the telephone and the computer" given the products that came before. Certainly you can feel that Apple has done it better. But they didn't invent the concept. They didn't even create the first "successful" attempt.

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Person Man
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Nov 23, 2010, 11:54 AM
 
SpaceMonkey, it's pretty clear to me that only you think that the original poster and others in this thread are saying that "Steve Jobs invented the smartphone." *NOBODY* is saying that.

The only thing that happened was that in 1985 Steve Jobs predicted that computers and telephones would merge. That's it. Steve Jobs did not invent the smartphone any more than Al Gore invented the internet.

Nobody is claiming that Apple invented the smartphone. They certainly did not. And your precious Blackberry was not the only smartphone around when Apple tried their hand at it, either. Plenty of phones were also using Windows CE and Palm OS as well.

What Apple did was to refine the smartphone concept and make it something accessible to "the rest of us." By that I mean people who were not businessmen with their Blackberries or computer geeks like us. Apple made "the masses" want smartphones, and then Android came along as well. Now Blackberry trails both Android and Apple, and if they want to stay relevant they need to do something to stop their stagnation.

Everyone here gets your point. Apple did not invent the smartphone. Steve Jobs did not invent the smartphone. He merely predicted that they would exist one day. And he sure as heck never said that he felt Apple would be the one to do it first.
     
beorning
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Nov 23, 2010, 12:35 PM
 
What I find amazing is that no-one seems to remember that when the iPhone debuted, there was serious wrangling over whether it could even be classified as a "smartphone." Still in its short lifetime it has completely re-defined the category, at least in part because developers demanded and got the ability to write native fart apps (i.e. with Apple kicking and screaming all the way).

Today even RIM tries to copy iPhone's model so while Apple may not get credit for inventing them they surely have defined them.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Nov 23, 2010, 02:00 PM
 
Its status as a smartphone was in question?

You're right: I don't remember that.

I do remember Jobs introducing it by talking specifically about how smartphones were soso smart and not so easy to use, while iphone would leapfrog that and be supersmart and supereasy to use. (paraphrasing from memory).

I remember no discussion EVER about whether iPhone was a smartphone.
     
SpaceMonkey
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Nov 23, 2010, 02:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by Person Man View Post
SpaceMonkey, it's pretty clear to me that only you think that the original poster and others in this thread are saying that "Steve Jobs invented the smartphone." *NOBODY* is saying that.
Respectfully, I disagree. At least, it's the only way I can rationalize why Eug and others were so persistent in countering my claim that Apple "can't take credit" for the smartphone. The general tone seemed to be that Apple created the first "usable" (whatever that means to you, personally) smartphone, which is silly on its face. Plenty of people were using smart phones before the iPhone came along. That Apple with the iPhone took smartphones out of strictly the business realm is an excellent point, but it has little to do with the essential idea of "merging the telephone and the personal computer."

And I don't even use a Blackberry. It was just a well-known reference point. I will say though that I encounter a surprising amount of legacy pre-iPhone smartphones during the work week in Washington on a regular basis.

Everyone here gets your point. Apple did not invent the smartphone. Steve Jobs did not invent the smartphone. He merely predicted that they would exist one day. And he sure as heck never said that he felt Apple would be the one to do it first.
Thank you.
( Last edited by SpaceMonkey; Nov 23, 2010 at 02:31 PM. )

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Spheric Harlot
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Nov 23, 2010, 02:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
Respectfully, I disagree. At least, it's the only way I can rationalize why Eug and others were so persistent in countering my claim that Apple "can't take credit" for the smartphone. The general tone seemed to be that Apple created the first "usable" (whatever that means to you, personally) smartphone, which is silly on its face. Plenty of people were using smart phones before the iPhone came along.
Of course you're absolutely right, but you're absolutely missing the point.

I wasn't using a smartphone, because I'd tried some of them, and they sucked. It was obvious that the customers they were built for were corporate IT departments, not the people who would actually be operating them.

I wasn't being forced to use one by my employer, though of course I could have made it work somehow IF I HAD TO.

But the iPhone was the first smartphone that made me WANT to use it. That's a pretty narrow, but eminently reasonable definition of usability, and it's one that pretty neatly characterizes Apple.
     
Paco500
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Nov 23, 2010, 04:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
I remember no discussion EVER about whether iPhone was a smartphone.
As I recall, the sticking points for some was the lack of an SDK, 3G and Exchange support. The biggie was the lack of SDK/native apps.

For reference
     
Big Mac
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Nov 23, 2010, 11:48 PM
 
The iPhone was the first smart phone for consumers, and it was the first smart phone with a real web browser. BBs were mostly corporate and their big appeal was email access. At best BBs were half-way smart phones.

The other part of the prediction is also pretty remarkable. If IBM wins, we'll go into a 20 year dark age of computing. IBM PCs did win when Jobs went into NeXT exile and Apple got to dig itself into a big hole. Okay, it wasn't 20 years, but computing creativity and innovation did suffer until Jobs' return.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
Spheric Harlot
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Nov 24, 2010, 02:58 AM
 
Indeed.

Also note the various bits about how Apple can only stay on top o the game by NOT pandering to corporate customers, and whom Macintosh was built for.
     
Shaddim
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Nov 24, 2010, 03:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Because there was an existing need that people were trying to fill by trying out different products?
This.

Ok, Apple didn't invent the Smartphone. The iPhone was simply worlds better than all the hunks of garbage that came before it. Invention? No. Emergence? Yes.
( Last edited by Shaddim; Nov 24, 2010 at 03:26 AM. )
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beorning
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Nov 24, 2010, 12:46 PM
 
Thanks for the link Paco, I should have put that in. There are lots more, and not just from January. Here is a quote from the present Wikipedia article on Smartphones:

The rise of the iPhone and Android
Later in 2007, Apple Inc. introduced its first iPhone. It was initially expensive, costing $500 for the cheaper of two models on top of a two year contract. It was one of the first smartphones to be mainly controlled through its touchscreen, the others being the LG Prada and the HTC Touch (also released in 2007). It was the first mobile phone to use a multi-touch interface. It featured a web browser that was much better than its competitors - Ars Technica described it as "far superior to anything that we had ever used prior."[17] At the time of the launch of the iPhone it was arguable whether it was actually a smartphone as the first generation lacked the ability to officially use third-party applications.[18] A process called jailbreaking emerged quickly to provide unofficial third-party applications. Steve Jobs publicly stated that the iPhone lacked 3G support due to the immaturity, power usage, and physical size requirements of 3G chipsets at the time.[19] However, it has been rumored that the CDMA2000 Network Providers (Verizon, Sprint) refused to allow the iPhone on their network because Jobs wanted total control of the application store associated with the iPhone.
As you said the biggest problem was the lack of an SDK. Was it Apple's plan all along to publish an SDK nine months after the phone went on sale or was it the vociferous outcry and jail-breaking that forced their hand?
     
Stogieman
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Nov 24, 2010, 01:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Also, FWIW, I think the whole interview is an amazing read, FULL of fascinating quotes and viewpoints.

The phone/computer prediction is, IMHO, one of the *least* interesting points.
I liked the story where he went to India and got his head shaved. LOL!

Slick shoes?! Are you crazy?!
     
tooki
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Nov 24, 2010, 05:55 PM
 
Yeah, who cares about smartphones. That's by far the most interesting Jobs interview I've ever read. Wow, just wow.
     
shabbasuraj
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Nov 24, 2010, 06:25 PM
 
Steve also said that REAL computers ALL have keyboards. (way back when)
blabba5555555555555555555555555555555555555
     
Cold Warrior
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Nov 24, 2010, 08:02 PM
 
Interesting, but Steve interviews usually are. The guy had it figured out 25 years ago.
     
freudling
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Nov 24, 2010, 09:12 PM
 
Not this interview again. Playboy posts this every once in a while to drive traffic to their site. They did it in 2008 then pulled it and put it behind a paywall a few months after. It's very old news and was blog headlines several times over during the years... People talking about the same stuff as you are...
     
Spheric Harlot
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Nov 25, 2010, 02:07 AM
 
What's wrong with you?
     
freudling
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Nov 25, 2010, 02:41 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
What's wrong with you?
Nothing. It's just that this interview swells up every few years like people forget about it or something... Then it comes back like nobody had ever seen it before.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Nov 25, 2010, 07:22 AM
 
It seems pretty obvious that nobody in this thread has ever read it before, and I'm quite certain it hasn't been linked to on this particular message board in the last ten years.

As for "people talking about the same stuff we are"…um…yeah… what did you think the point of the MacNN forums was, pray tell?

You bewilder me.
     
   
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