Wall Street Journal Q&A With Steve Jobs [Updated]

On the eve of the iPhone's debut, The Wall Street Journal posts a Q&A with Apple CEO Steve Jobs and AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson (paid subscription required). Update: Samples from a USAToday interview have also been included.

The two talk about many topics ranging from reflecting on the iPhone launch to discussing the decision to stick with AT&T's EDGE, to speculating about how the iPhone will affect the companies. We post a highlight of some of the discussion here. Note that some responses have been paraphrased for brevity.

WSJ: What do you both envision being added over time to the iPhone, in terms of access to ringtones through Cingular's (now rebranded AT&T) platform and maybe through some other manner, like turning your iTunes songs into ringtones?
Mr. Jobs: As you may know, iTunes is now the number three distributor of music in the U.S., ahead of Amazon and Target and behind Best Buy and Wal-Mart, and obviously the largest online distributor of music in the world. Of course, you can play that music now on your iPhone. One might imagine a lot of things down the road.

WSJ: Is one of those things offering music purchases and video purchases directly from the phone?
Mr. Jobs: There's a lot of things you can imagine down the road.

WSJ: [Editor's contraction: Why did you choose EDGE over 3G?]
Mr. Jobs: [Paraphrased] Every AT&T Blackberry gets its mail over EDGE. EDGE is great for mail, and it works well for maps and a whole bunch of other stuff. Where you wish you had faster speed ison a Web browser. It's good enough, but you wish it was a little faster. That's where sandwiching EDGE with Wi-Fi really makes sense because Wi-Fi is much faster than any 3G network.

When we looked at 3G, the chipsets were not low-enough power for what we were looking for. They were not integrated enough, so they took up too much physical space. We cared a lot about battery life and we cared a lot about physical size. Down the road, I'm sure some of those tradeoffs will become more favorable towards 3G but as of now we think we made a pretty good doggone decision.

WSJ: Did you make enough of these to meet demand?
Mr. Jobs: [Paraphrased] We're building a fair number of them... we've built factories to build these things... but it wouldn't surprise me at all if it ain't enough.

USAToday: What if you are sold out by Saturday? Will you let people buy them, and pick them up later?
Mr. Jobs: No, you're going to have to come back in. When you start taking people's money and can't deliver the product, there are lots of legal issues. It's easier to disappoint people.

USAToday: What about corporate e-mail? I understand that's an issue for many consumers, who may not be able to hook up to their company networks?
Mr. Jobs: You'll be hearing more about this in the coming weeks. We have some pilots going with companies with names you'll recognize. This won't be a big issue.

USAToday: [Editor's contraction: Now that you've done it with the iPhone, will you begin pre-announcing products more?]
Mr. Jobs: [Paraphrased] I don't think we will. We did this because of the FCC certification process and because we had to have hundreds of people test it because it was going to be on a network. We had no choice but to do it the way we did it, and I'm glad we did it this way. It worked well, but most of the time, we will do what we normally do.

Top Rated Comments

Flowbee Avatar
177 months ago
Steve Jobs said "ain't?"
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

lg wing

LG Considering Exit From Smartphone Business, Halts LCD Production for iPhone

Wednesday January 20, 2021 5:38 am PST by
LG is considering exiting the smartphone business entirely amid declining shipments and accrued losses of $4.5 billion over the past five years (via The Korea Herald). LG CEO Kwon Bong-Seok cautioned staff earlier today that the company is re-evaluating its presence in the smartphone industry: Since the competition in the global market for mobile devices is getting fiercer, it is about...
google maps detailed street level e1611052089473

Google Maps Gains Enhanced Street-Level Detail in Four Major Cities

Tuesday January 19, 2021 2:34 am PST by
Google Maps has quietly been updated to include significantly more detailed street-level information in a handful of key cities around the world. Upon zooming in, Google's maps for Central London, Tokyo, San Francisco, and New York now benefit from shapes and widths that match the scale of roads more accurately. Meanwhile, enhanced graphical representations of sidewalks, crosswalks,...
2019 mac pro side and front

Tim Cook Gifted Donald Trump 'First' 2019 Mac Pro

Wednesday January 20, 2021 5:45 pm PST by
Apple CEO Tim Cook gifted former United States President Donald Trump with the first 2019 Mac Pro that came off of the assembly line in Austin, Texas, according to a financial disclosure report that was released today (via The Verge). "Mac Pro Computer, the first created at the Flex Factory in Austin, Texas," reads the entry, which values the machine at $5,999, the base price for a Mac Pro....
airpods max sim ejector

AirPods Max Headband Removable With Just a SIM Ejector Tool, Hinting at Interchangeable Headbands

Tuesday January 19, 2021 8:25 am PST by
It is possible to remove the headband of AirPods Max with just a standard SIM card ejector tool, hinting at the possibility of interchanging headbands to achieve a different colorway. Image via Prelook In December, MacRumors revealed the large variety of AirPods Max ear cushion color combinations when it became clear that they were magnetically attatched and available for sale separately....
iphone 5s black slate

Images of Unreleased iPhone 5s in Black and Slate Shared Online

Sunday January 17, 2021 9:47 am PST by
Twitter user @DongleBookPro has today shared images of a prototype iPhone 5s in an unreleased Black and Slate color. The iPhone 5s was launched in September 2013. The device featured Touch ID, a 64-bit processor, and a True Tone LED flash for the first time. Other new features included a five-element lens with an f/2.2 aperture, a 15 percent larger camera sensor, Burst Mode, and Slo-Mo...
iphone 12 vs iphone 12 mini

Apple Shifting Some Production From iPhone 12 mini to iPhone 12 Pro to Meet Demand

Wednesday January 20, 2021 8:12 am PST by
Apple has reportedly cut production of the iPhone 12 mini by two million units to create more manufacturing capacity for the iPhone 12 Pro, according to a new Morgan Stanley investment note seen by PED30. Apple is believed to have made the switch for the first quarter of 2021 in an effort to combat continuing lead times for the more popular iPhone 12 Pro. iPhone 12 Pro lead times remain ...
Apple VR Feature

Bloomberg: Apple's First AR/VR Headset 'Pricey, Niche Precursor' to More Ambitious AR Glasses and Could Launch Next Year

Thursday January 21, 2021 3:27 am PST by
Apple's first virtual reality headset will be a "pricey, niche precursor" to a more ambitious augmented reality product, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. As a mostly virtual reality device, it will display an all-encompassing 3-D digital environment for gaming, watching video and communicating. AR functionality, the ability to overlay images and information over a view...
shot on iphone 12 apple

Apple Highlights Photos Shot by iPhone 12 Users: Portraits, Cityscapes, and More

Tuesday January 19, 2021 6:05 am PST by
Apple today shared a gallery of photos shot by customers using the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max, with scenes including cityscapes, landscapes, portraits of people, and more at day and night. Shot on iPhone 12 Pro Max by "NKCHU" in China (top) and shot on iPhone 12 Pro Max by Rohit Vohra in India (bottom) iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 models have a dual camera ...
Apple and Hyundai feature

Apple Car Production Again Linked to Kia Motor's US Plant in Georgia

Tuesday January 19, 2021 4:19 am PST by
Hyundai intends to transition the company's Apple Car involvement to its Kia brand as part of an internal arrangement that could see production move to the U.S., according to a new report today. On Sunday, Korea IT News reported that Apple and Hyundai are seeking a partnership agreement for the upcoming Apple Car by March, and that the electric vehicles could be made at a Georgia factory...
iPhone 13 Notch Feature

iPhone 13 Rumored to Feature Smaller Notch, Pro Model Cameras to Use Larger Image Sensor

Thursday January 21, 2021 1:38 am PST by
Apple's iPhone 13 series will feature a redesigned Face ID system that will allow for a smaller notch at the top of the screen, according to a new report today. The rumor comes via hit-and-miss Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes, whose supply chain sources also claim that the ultra wide-angle lens in Apple's next-generation iPhones is due for an upgrade. The next-generation iPhones'...