Steve Jobs on the App Store in 2008: 'We Didn't Expect It to Be This Big'

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 25, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Following the launch of the App Store in 2008, Apple CEO Steve Jobs sat down for an interview with The Wall Street Journal.

    In celebration of the recent 10th anniversary of the App Store, The Wall Street Journal today published both the audio and transcript of that interview, where Jobs shares his view on the future of the App Store and the future of Apple.


    The interview took place in August of 2008, a month after the launch of the App Store. Even back then, just after its debut, the App Store's success surprised Jobs, who said Apple hadn't expected the App Store to "be this big." "The mobile industry's never seen anything like this," he said.

    Within 30 days, users had downloaded 30 percent as many apps as everybody in the world downloaded songs from iTunes during the same period of time. Jobs said he could not even predict how many new apps would be uploaded by a particular date given the App Store's wildly popular debut.
    In the early days of the App Store, Apple was criticized for high app prices. "It's a competition," said Jobs. "Who knew what to price things at?" According to Jobs, Apple didn't have advice for developers on pricing either. "Our opinions are no better than yours because this is so new."

    Jobs went on to mull how the App Store could grow in the future as people adopted the iPhone and the iPod touch, speculating that it could be a billion dollar marketplace, which Apple has significantly exceeded. As of July 2018, developers have earned more than $100 billion from the App Store.
    Jobs said that he didn't expect the App Store would be a big profit generator, with Apple instead launching it to add value to the iPhone. Jobs was wrong, though, and Apple's services category is the size of a Fortune 100 company, largely on the strength of the App Store. In Q2 2018, for example, services brought in $9.19 billion and the App Store set an all time revenue record.

    While Jobs was surprised by the success of the App Store, it didn't stop him from declaring that the "phone of the future will be differentiated by software," a prediction that has largely come true. Today, many high-end smartphones share similar features and designs, with software - iOS and Android - as one of the main factors that people take into consideration when choosing a device.

    The entire interview with Steve Jobs is well worth listening to and can be found over at The Wall Street Journal.

    Article Link: Steve Jobs on the App Store in 2008: 'We Didn't Expect It to Be This Big'
  2. Tivoli_ macrumors member

    Dec 14, 2017
  3. kaishockz macrumors newbie


    Oct 31, 2016
    Back in the days, where I paid 99 cent for WhatsApp xD
  4. Radon87000 macrumors 604

    Nov 29, 2013
    The best CEO Apple ever had and will have. Unlike a certain bean counter, you can really hear the passion when he talks.
  5. TVreporter macrumors 6502


    Mar 11, 2012
    Near Toronto
    A visionary and leader that Apple and its fans miss and badly need. Amazing story for the App Store - and it continues to thrive!
  6. lunarworks macrumors 65816

    Jun 17, 2003
    Toronto, Canada
    Steve Jobs got things wrong sometimes. It seems people have forgotten that.
  7. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    Yes, I forgot those things.
  8. xnu macrumors 6502


    Jul 15, 2004
    I miss him. I always enjoyed every time he spoke about any topic. Thank you Steve.
  9. az431 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 13, 2008
    Portland, OR
    Steve Jobs was a visionary and what Apple needed after the Gil Amelio debacle, but the best CEO Apple has ever had is Tim Cook.
  10. japanime macrumors 68000


    Feb 27, 2006
    Remember the "I Am Rich" app, which did nothing but was priced at $999.99? Good times. :D

  11. StrangeNoises macrumors member


    Jul 21, 2011
    i remember watching one of the first presentations to developers on it, and he said there weren't going to be third party apps on the iphone, or rather, they would be webapps, and talked about support for them to *look* native. Even through a video stream you could tell the atmosphere in that room got very cold. After all it's not as if people hadn't been writing Symbian apps for years, running apps on a phone wasn't actually a new thing, and it was shocking if the iPhone wasn't going to allow it. The reality distortion field definitely flickered. Not very long after, the app store was announced. That was one he got wrong. But he could tell when he got something wrong, and was able to turn the ship around onto a new course.
  12. Hrududu macrumors 68020


    Jul 25, 2008
    Central US
    Gil was actually better for Apple than most people give him credit for. He began the slim down of the product line, purchased NEXT (bringing Jobs back) and kept Apple from being sold. Spindler on the other hand..
  13. m0sher macrumors 6502


    Mar 4, 2018
    He wasn’t perfect but he sure was passionate about his products that he created in his garage.

    I appreciate the Apple stores for the AppleCare service I get, if I need repair on my iPhone. I’ve used them a couple times and it was well worth it when I had to.
  14. seatton macrumors 6502a


    Nov 7, 2013
    Seattle, WA
    Tim Cook in 2018 on Mac App Store and Apple TV Store "We did not expect the store to be this small"...
  15. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    So true. As excited as we all get by new hardware, the hardware race ended some time ago, and everybody won. You can get a fast, attractive, high quality device with a great camera from tons of manufacturers these days (and have been able to for some time now). Software is by far the more important differentiator.
  16. VulchR macrumors 68020


    Jun 8, 2009
    I am somewhat surprised that Jobs didn't understand that people would want to use their CPU's (and the phones sensors) to their fullest advantage. That seemed obvious to me the first day the iPhone was announced.
  17. Frank Dalton macrumors regular

    Frank Dalton

    Jun 26, 2015
    Oklahoma Territory
    LOL. No. Tim Cook was the best COO Apple has ever had. He is a terrible CEO.
  18. btrach144 macrumors 65816


    Aug 28, 2015
    Must not have been that important of failures if nobody remembers them anymore...
  19. RoobyRoobyRoo, Jul 25, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 26, 2018

    RoobyRoobyRoo macrumors member

    Oct 3, 2016
    What reasons do you have for stating that Cook is a terrible CEO?
  20. Frank Dalton, Jul 25, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 26, 2018

    Frank Dalton macrumors regular

    Frank Dalton

    Jun 26, 2015
    Oklahoma Territory
    He lacks vision and is apparently incapable of reigning in Jony Ive's worst impulses. Enough for me to rate him as terrible.
  21. bbednarz, Jul 25, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2018

    bbednarz macrumors 6502a


    Nov 16, 2017
    People remember the good about the past and the bad about the present. Look at the thread when the iPod first came out and all the people who were up in arms over it. People tend to look at the past with rose tinted glasses. I am sure once Cook is gone the same will happen with the next CEO.
  22. Frank Dalton macrumors regular

    Frank Dalton

    Jun 26, 2015
    Oklahoma Territory
    Speak for yourself. I thought Spindler and Amelio were terrible. I was pretty happy with Jobs both at the time and in retrospect. My opinions haven’t changed. And, now, I can’t stand Cook, though it took me many years to come to this conclusion. I didn’t hate him from the outset.
  23. inkswamp macrumors 68030


    Jan 26, 2003
    He didn't actually get it completely wrong and he was talking to a room full of people who couldn't get their heads around the whole vision he was presenting. It's really unfortunate because Apple had actually put a lot of effort into supporting webapps running on iOS as discrete programs. Coded properly, webapps are nearly indistinguishable from a regular app on iOS. A web app can have its own icon on the homescreen. They launched separately from Safari without any of the browser controls visible, and Apple provided a budding API to accomplish many of the same things native apps could do. I still use Dark Sky's web app for weather forecasts to this day.

    Of course, web apps aren't going to work for more resource-intensive needs (games for one) and that's where Jobs got it wrong, but for apps with lighter resource usage, web apps were probably the better way to go.
  24. Firebrand macrumors regular

    Sep 13, 2016
    Reality Distortion Field side effect?

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