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Wall Street Journal Q&A With Steve Jobs


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

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).

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 is…on 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.


macrumors 6502
May 2, 2007
Go Steve Jobs Go!

Great to see someone, anyone, out there defending the iPhone.

It's been blasted in the press. Something like this: The iPhone is a great phone, here are all the reasons why you shouldn't buy it until version 2.0.

Enough people! Let's just all chill out and check it out tomorrow.

It's going to be a blast!


macrumors 6502a
Nov 11, 2003
In the Bowels of the Cosmos
It is true that the EDGE network is the largest data network in the US. Hopefully though 3G will be more widespread and less powerconsuming by the time iPhone v. 2 shows up.


macrumors 6502a
May 23, 2006
Steve for president!

Anybody that can take such a direct question about Ringtones and turn it into something about iTunes deserves, at the very leave, a govenorship. Still bummmed he didn't freakin answer! I want my ring tones! :)

And yeah, what's up with "ain't" - is Steve going hick on us???


macrumors newbie
Jun 28, 2007
Newark, DE
I don't know what you were reading, but those sure weren't "answers". He was like Richard Gear in Chicago, tapping all around the answers. :)

I, for one, am glad he mentioned that the edge network isn't the ideal; but it fills the need with the balance between functionality and power hunger. 3G is faster, but power hungry. We would be complaining about the poor battery performance instead of the load speed.



macrumors newbie
Jun 27, 2007
Do media people actually expect straightforward answers to these types of questions w/ SJ?

They might as well ask: When is the G5 PowerBook coming? In your opinion does Apple make good products? Mr Jobs, True or False: Dell + Windows = ROXStar?


macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
Steve goes wild west

"A doggone good decision," maybe... but if production truly "ain't enough" to meet demand, then it may be time to "git along little dogie." This market "ain't big enough for the both of us, guldernit!"

Steve sounds a little wild west today.
EDIT: Great minds think alike!

(And what's with the negative headline about Jobs conceding the iPhone is "slow"? I thought the WSJ is in Apple's pocket and taking orders from Cupertino, as proven by the recent Mossberg review that mentioned both positives and negatives yet is somehow still deceptive positive spin paid for by Apple :rolleyes: )


macrumors regular
Oct 20, 2002
I think it would be an interesting poll or bet to have on the site on when Apple will run out of stock of iPhones nationwide.

A. Within ten days
B. One month
C. Three months
D. Never

Did I read somewhere they've made 1 million of them already with another 2 million due soon?:


macrumors 68040
Apr 2, 2005
so I Guess edge really isn't a "con" anymore...if it would have been possible (i.e. keeping same form factor and battery life) Apple would have included 3 G.


macrumors regular
Feb 4, 2006
And yeah, what's up with "ain't" - is Steve going hick on us???

"Thar anit a gosh dern thing wrong wit hicks.":p

Seriously though, I wish that Steve would answer questions, not just respond to them. I understand the need/want for secrecy, but an actual clear answer would be nice. Not just:

Interviewer: "Is the sky blue?"
SJ: "Well you know that the sky is the biggest thing known to man right now and it is easy to imagine it becoming something bigger and vaster than we ever dreamed of."
Interviewer: "Well that's nice, but is it blue?"
SJ: "We don't talk about things like that."


macrumors 68020
Apr 10, 2007
Anybody that can take such a direct question about Ringtones and turn it into something about iTunes deserves, at the very leave, a govenorship. Still bummmed he didn't freakin answer! I want my ring tones! :)

I'm willing to bet that, before too long, Apple will have an iPhone version of the iTMS, with ringtones and most, if not all, of the current catalog. Accessible directly from the iPhone. There's just no way I can see it not happening. And because it would be an iPhone-specific store, if AT&T really put up a stink, Apple could give them a cut of the sales from that store.
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