Steve Jobs Refused to Bring iPod & iTunes to PC Without Walt Mossberg's Blessing

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 29, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Tony Fadell, known as the godfather of the iPod for his role in its design, recently sat down Appvance CEO Kevin Surace at the SV Forum Visionary Salon Dinner to reminisce about Steve Jobs and his time at Apple. VentureBeat attended the event and has shared a transcript of the discussion.

    Fadell has discussed his role at Apple and his relationship with Jobs many times over the years, but new details, additional color, and lesser-known tidbits tend to surface with each new interview, making them worth a read. This most recent interview covers an interesting look at the decision to bring iTunes to the PC.

    Image via VentureBeat​

    Jobs was initially against introducing PC support for the iPod because he viewed the device as a way to attract people to the Mac. Fadell had a team of people working on porting iTunes to PC to give people who didn't own a Mac a taste of Apple products. Fadell describes his effort to get iTunes on the PC as a "knock down, drag out battle."

    After being pressured by much of the iPod team to get iTunes to the biggest market, Jobs relented, but he insisted that journalist Walt Mossberg, who wrote for The Wall Street Journal at the time, sign off on the design.
    Following iTunes' PC launch, Fadell says Mac sales accelerated. The iPod and iTunes were good on the PC, "but great on a Mac," enticing people to switch to Apple's platform.

    Another anecdote in the interview covers Apple's early exploration of a phone. Fadell and his team began conceptualizing an "iPod phone" that was an iPod with a phone module inside it. It was designed like an iPod with a click wheel for dialing, an idea that didn't work.
    A rendering of a prototype iPod/iPhone hybrid with a click wheel, based on information from a source familiar with Apple's designs at the time.

    At the same time as the iPod phone was in development, Apple was also exploring the idea of a touchscreen Mac, leading to the idea of a virtual interface on a phone.
    Apple then began work on a multi-touch display and software that brought together elements from the Mac and the iPod, eventually leading to the development of the device that became the original iPhone.

    The full transcript of Fadell's interview, which includes additional details on his early career, Nest, and Apple, can be read over at VentureBeat.

    Article Link: Steve Jobs Refused to Bring iPod & iTunes to PC Without Walt Mossberg's Blessing
  2. CFreymarc Suspended

    Sep 4, 2009
    Really surprised this story came out. What is next? The story about the recruitment of the original iPhone team.
  3. surfingarbo macrumors regular


    Jun 12, 2011
    Calgary, AB, Canada
  4. levitynyc macrumors 65816

    Aug 19, 2006
    The creation story of the first iPhone and the reveal are so fascinating.

    Unfortunately, future generations will take them for granted.
  5. MacFather macrumors 6502a


    Mar 16, 2012
  6. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 603

    Oct 27, 2009
    Game changing move. Apple wouldn't have risen so high without iPod PC users
  7. H2SO4 macrumors 68040

    Nov 4, 2008
    Great, but why the picture of Grant Mitchell?
  8. thekeyring macrumors 68040

    Jan 5, 2012
    When you hear tidbits like the multi-touch pingpong table which lead to iPhone, it feels like the iPhone was a one-in-a-generation new product category.

    The Apple Watch clearly isn't the same, but then it doesn't need to be. (Like the original iPod didn't need to be as "big" as the Mac.)

    I'd love to hear more anecdotes about the development of the Watch: The conversations that must have been had where they questioned whether it would live up to previous products; The weight of the first post-Jobs product, etc. I guess we won't hear much until Tim Cook retires.
  9. east85 macrumors 65816


    Jun 24, 2010
    Can honestly say I'm glad the iPod Phone with a click wheel never came to fruition, sounds like a total disaster.
  10. yaxomoxay macrumors 68000


    Mar 3, 2010
    hem... current generation takes it for granted already.
  11. thekeyring macrumors 68040

    Jan 5, 2012
    From our perspective: because he isn't announcing new products anymore, or being interviewed about them.
  12. Slix macrumors 6502a


    Mar 24, 2010
    I love reading stories like this. The lead up to the original iPhone is probably one of the most interesting stories of tech that has happened. Started out as giant table-sized multitouch device, then a large iPad-sized device, then a phone.

    I hope we keep getting stories like this for years to come. The mystery of it is still awesome. :)
  13. sofila macrumors 6502a


    Jan 19, 2006
    Ramtop Mountains
    I can easily daydream thinking to be in the same rooms and try to feel some of the excitement pouring around.
    I find it a little more difficult to imagine the same in Apple nowadays.

    P.S. It's only a feeling of mine, not a judgement
  14. kungpaaao macrumors regular

    Jul 24, 2015
    Apple invented the Surface first?
  15. mrkramer macrumors 603


    Jul 11, 2006
    In retrospect it does sound like a bad idea, but I remember being excited about the idea when I first heard those rumors. I think given the state of other phones at the time it would have been an average phone, but certainly wouldn't have made smartphones as common as they are today.
  16. Asarien macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2015
    San Francisco, CA
    The man was an ass, but often was a spectacle of remarkable vision.
  17. yaxomoxay macrumors 68000


    Mar 3, 2010
    As long as I am not in the same room when the project manager has to tell him that the schedule has to be pushed back because reality settled in...
  18. KdParker macrumors 601


    Oct 1, 2010
    Not surprised at all, I know that iPhone and iPods were what got me looking at the Mac books when I was in an apple store. And once I found out I could run any OS it was an easy sell since the Macs are better machines.
  19. chrismail627 macrumors regular


    Jan 3, 2016
    Kinda funny, back when I had a click wheel nano I thought they should make an iPod phone. Now I can't imagine it ever happening
  20. fitshaced macrumors 68000


    Jul 2, 2011
    I see..... Now, what's a clock radio?
  21. rdlink macrumors 68040


    Nov 10, 2007
    Out of the Reach of the FBI
    Sort of the same as my experience. I had an iPod first, then started kicking the tires on a Mac because of that experience.

    But the absurd idea of the click wheel iPhone always brings this to mind:
  22. Jarman74 macrumors regular


    Mar 22, 2009
    One just wonders what Steve would have made of this article. For now I want to believe that his aura is still there and it will be taken seriously.
  23. bluespark macrumors 65816

    Jul 11, 2009
    New York
    This is a perfect example of "editing," one of Apple's core principles. Given the huge success of the iPod, the allure of generating relatively immediate additional sales by shoehorning in phone functionality must have been huge. Nearly any other company would have taken the bait, even if it were obvious that the solution was imperfect. Apple took the time and made the effort to find the right approach instead, and changed the world.
  24. brianbunge macrumors 6502


    Aug 11, 2011
    Kennesaw, GA
    Interesting. The iPod was my gateway to Apple products. First the iPod, then the iPhone and a few years later a Mac mini. Now the only Windows machines in the house are my wife's work computer and my old laptop running Vista that I only keep because I about 2-3 times a year I need to use a Windows-based program for school.

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