Things Steve Jobs didn't say

Today I was listening not to what Steve Jobs said, but what he didn’t say.

There were two things that stood out in my mind.

1. I didn’t remember him talking about the Macintosh. I might have missed it, but I don’t think so.
2. I didn’t remember him talking about tethering.
3. I didn’t remember him talking about Apple TV.
4. I didn’t remember him talking about other carriers other than AT&T.

Why not? Well, that’s for the pundits to guess.

Me? When Steve Jobs doesn’t say something he knows he doesn’t have a good story. Is Apple moving away from the Macintosh? Is it fighting with AT&T about tethering? Is the hobby project of Apple TV struggling? These are all questions that are raised by what Steve Jobs didn’t say.

What about you? Did you pick up on anything else Steve Jobs didn’t say?

Comments

  1. He did mention that Apple is working with carriers (plural) on getting FaceTime to work on their networks. I hope that means there’s hope beyond AT&T. (btw, you mentioned 4 things, not 2).

  2. He didn’t mention Safari either – but that got updated today.

    Macs – i3, i5, i7 chips are terribly exciting these days. When the Mac runs on A3 chips then he’ll mention it.

    AppleTV – surprised there wasn’t at least *something* – come on already – I’m waiting to cancel cable.

    Tethering – I get the feeling they are done with AT&T but don’t have another real choice – Verizon would be best but have incompatible technology. I don’t think he’s happy with the 200mb/2gb plans.

  3. Well they keep on making money but I suspect they are crossing the line where market popularity and proprietary technology decisions cross and start to affect people’s decisions on choosing their technology. I hear a lot of app developers are falling in love with Google because it’s so much easier to get apps done. Didn’t Microsoft do this to IBM with an operating system called O/S2 a while ago?

  4. Steve didn’t talk about Apple TV because he still has not figured out a way to replace the cable companies. Apple’s need for total control is their Achilles heal. Android is winning in China because despite the political fallout from the Red Army hacking Google and Google’s threatening to pull out of China, companies there can adopt Android without getting the permission of Google and carriers can build and control their own app stores. Apple tried and failed to convince the major television studios to partner with them on Apple’s terms. Google TV will succeed because A) the technology will be better than anything Comcast can develop and B) Comcast will be able to keep control of their IP as the distribution of it evolves to TCP/IP. Apple might have the ability to remain a dominant player in the mobile phone hardware business but it does not have the resources or the humility to be a dominant player in mobile phones *and* televisions *and* cars *and* home appliances *and* all the other devices that will soon be running embedded operating systems. Eventually iOS apps will be seen as very isolated and less useful than Android applications which will span all types of devices seamlessly and connect to sensors that are embedded everywhere. The network *is* the computer.

  5. He did say that he was working with “the carriers” on FaceTime for 3G but that could be interpreted as AT&T and foreign carries rather than other carries in the US.

  6. That worries me. I am much more interested in Mac than I am Mobile OS or whatever they call it. When I switched to Mac from Windows two years ago it was a revolution. I am a musician and the things that Garageband and Logic opened up for me have been amazing. I was never able to get over some mental hurdle to be able to record on a Windows machine. It just seemed to fight you. Mac invites you. It makes it fun to work with. I want to be productive in the day, and then relax with my iPad and TV at night. So it worries me. I personally don't like it. I'd rather see a Keynote devoted to Mac instead of iOS. I personally want to be productive as well as consumptive. But the accent is on productive. And the weird thing is, the more productive I am, the more I'm able to relax and really enjoy entertainment.

    1. There’s no way Mac is going away. The car/truck analogy is an excellent one; the mere fact that the highest growth area of the business is in tiny cars doesn’t obviate the need for trucks for those who need/want them. The Mac is the cornerstone of the development ecosystem for the mobile business, for one thing — much as I love both my iPhone and my iPad, I won’t be writing code on either anytime soon, at least at anything like the level of productivity we now have in the full desktop environment.

      Apple is definitely trying to migrate many everyday uses away from needing a full desktop-style environment, and they’re very successful at it. But there will be a large number of uses for a fuller, more traditional computer experience for years to come — at least until we can *create* on a mobile platform as well as we can *consume*…..

  7. Why Scoble?

    We knew he wouldn't talk about Mac and OSX, it was made clear when WWDC was announced this was the year for mobile. Why in the world would he talk at all about the other three. Steve never talks about irrelevant things, he's the most disiplined presenter in the world.

  8. Rumors are saying sometime later this month for a new refresh of the Mac Pro (there is a delay in chips until the end of the month), and the Mac Mini is already showing supply chain issues (which generally hints toward a new release). We're also on the lookout for some new monitors, as it seems updating the monitor (few refreshes in the last few YEARS) has really taken a back seat at Apple.

    I'm surprised too, but it could just be that the Mac refresh isn't quite ready yet.

  9. Mac hardware updates no longer warrant a big media event presentation like WWDC. Perhaps there's a convergence of OSX and iOS4 happening over the near- to mid-term? Truck-like PCs will handle the major content creation while the daily workload will be handled with mobile devices.

  10. At the end of the day Apple makes a bloody fortune in subsidy payments from AT&T. Until another US carrier is willing to match (or beat) the subsidy payment AT&T is willing to pay the iPhone will remain an AT&T exclusive in the US.

  11. I did hear Steve Jobs say “get that fucking Wibiya toolbar off my fucking browser, asshole”.

  12. Apple gets an enormous amount of rumors simply because they don't tell nobody nothin' ahead of time. If they're working on a new Apple TV, or dropping the Mac (never), then it's not ready for an announcement now. Due to the enormous number of rumors beforehand, people tend to think that the lack of announcements NOW, when they were RUMORED, means something. It doesn't.

  13. Interesting post, Robert.

    I found it interesting that Apple, who are masters of leaking information, had their day screwed because of a genuine leak.

  14. My hunches: Apple TV and cloud iTunes get introduced together at their own event. It is big enough news to warrant that. New macs will roll out without a lot of fan fair as revs just aren't big news anymore. My guess is we will see Verizon when it rolls out LTE as Apple won't ship CDMA devices and CDMA can't handle voice and data at the same time. Bonus: I think Apple will roll out an iPod touch with optional 3G later this year, similar to iPad. With multi tasking we may know longer need the carriers as anything more than a pipe.

  15. I think we shouldn't look for things that aren't there. I guess the keynote was about mobile devices. Apple won't kill mac. They can't. I even don't think they will kill the macbook line. Maybe it will be changed to a different look and name but the basic notebook is there to stay just like to macbook pro and the mac pro.
    We need those devices to develop and the macbook line is for the people who can't afford a macbook pro or who don't need a pro.

    My point is though, that we shouldn't search for things that aren't there. If he doesn't talk about it, doesn't mean he isn't thinking about it.

    I like reading scoble and watching twit. But I'm getting bored with the lessons learned in j school, that make a journalists open up topics that lead to nothing.

  16. hum, he did say, that they rename the iPhone OS into iOS – this means to me, that they want more than just a phone and an iPad to run it – do they plan an entry-Mac with iOS? This would follow the strategy, that Apple seems to give not a Cent for the Pros and their Power-users.
    From my personal view, they don't give a shit for the guys who made them big: The Pros, Photographers, GraphicDesigners, Litho-Studios – the people, using the Mac seriously. Unbelievable…

  17. Scoble – You’ve got it slightly wrong.

    DId we hear about Mac Pro updates either? No. Because
    a) There’s only so much you want to put in the keynote
    b) There are certain things better put in the keynote
    c) Apple likes to spread out the updates and news

    He’s already mentioned that this WWDC is more about iPhone/iPad. But there is Mac info and sessions there i’d imagine. Speak to a developer who’s actually at the real meat – the State of the Union session, and who’s able to see some of the Mac sessions.

    He didn’t talk about ATV. So what? Does Apple always talk about refreshes, updates, and new produts prior to official announcement/release? Nope.

    Other carriers? I’d imagine that’ll be another time. Note that Apple has added another band to the iPhone 4.

    Apple and Jobs have actively feigned one way, to go another. But let’s get a brain and think a few basic things through.

    ATV announcement would fit right with say, an iTunes update? Maybe a push for more HD content also? Maybe find out what that Data centre will do when online? What happened to Mobileme? Where are the iWorks apps for iPhone hinted at? Apple is in control, and will to the greatest extent, launch stuff on it’s schedule.
    Safari’s a great example – it was easy to see it was going to get a refresh- didn’t stop pundits not noticing it was likely.
    Mac Pro’s fit well with say a ACD/Screen update. May a silent Mac mini bump. etc.

  18. This is just mental masturbation worrying about what SJ didn’t say or what he did say.

  19. There's nothing to discuss re: tethering. There's no Apple technology or hardware issue there, and no innovation required (except possibly for creating a wifi hotspot instead of simply tethering via USB or Bluetooth). This is also exclusively a US problem – elsewhere tethering to an iPhone for an internet connection is already part of the everyday user experience with the device (at no extra cost, in Canada at least). Since it's the WW conf, it's easy to understand why he wouldn't mention it. The ball's exclusively in AT&T's court on this one.

    About Apple TV, Jobs was clear in his interview with Swisher and Mossberg – until a new vendor can disintermediate the cable cos, there's no mass market opportunity there. People underestimate how important a part of the overall iPhone experience this represents – until the iPhone, users' experience was entirely controlled by the carriers. Applications, the source of applications, the price, features available on the device – all was mandated by a carrier. Apple broke this model by doing an (unholy?) deal with AT&T – which forced the whole industry to change.

    People (rightly) complain about AT&T now – but the change to “carrier, you have (almost) nothing to say about the user experience of the device I'm selling, and no ongoing relationship with my customers other than being a dumb pipe” is a pretty radical change. Contrast that to Sprint, which calls the Palm Pre “their” phone.

  20. Steve didn't say these things because they are either handled at a lower level ( new macs are routine and Steve does not do routine) or because they deserve their own announcement ( like Apple Tv or iTunes Live).

    This leads us to conclude that the relevant announcements will take place later in the year, or early next year.

  21. What I did hear that no one seems to be focusing on are the repeated statements about how he wants developers to make money. I didn't hear a whole lot of emphasis on this in Google's talks.

  22. I don't recall him mentioning Scoble, maybe there's no story? But seriously, I think you're making too much of these points. He discussed several of them at D8. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar (Freud).

  23. Love the new logo Robert. Killer. One thing Steve Jobs did say, with a bit of whimsy, was how “thin” the iPhone 4 was. No crowd reaction to his little joke, which was nice. Mary Meeker points out how the iPhone in 11 quarters has tipped 86M internet users. And the iPazzle sold 1M units amazingly fast. I wouldn't talk about AppleTV and Macs either.

  24. I am an apple fanatic. love their products. But I am so close to ditching my iphone because I actually want a phone with voice capability. I figure I'll just sit on all my iPhone apps till they figure out that ATT relationship is f**king Apple's brand. The unfortunate thing for apple is that their innovation is driving industry innovation, the iphone is slowly but surely losing it's coolness factor… my guess is that when you start sending HD video over ATT network or tether, the ATT network will completely collapse…

    oh wait… it's already doing that.

  25. I'm fairly certain that he didn't mention tethering because Phil Schiller talked about it already at the release of the previous version of the iphone. It's something that has already been available outside of the US, and nothing has changed from Apple's standpoint – they've had tethering for a year now.

    Talking about tethering now, from Apple's standpoint, is probably a bit like touting the iPhone 4's ability to cut, copy and paste.