Fortune interviews Apple CEO Steve Jobs: How big can Apple get?

“We asked Steve Jobs how he did it (hint: It’s the software, stupid) and what’s next,” Brent Schlender writes for Fortune.

MacDailyNews Take: “It’s the software, stupid?” That sounds familiar, huh? Wonder where he got that line from?

“‘My God, there really has been a genie locked in that bottle! Apple’s innovation and creativity have been unleashed in a way that they haven’t been in 20 years. Look at the results. This isn’t a company about 5% market share; this is a company that is capable of competing with world-class competitors and achieving market shares of 65%, 70%, and even 90%.’ Steve Jobs, the silver-tongued king of Apple Computer, is explaining how the world’s opinion of his company has risen with the triumph of the iPod. We’re in our third phone conversation, following up on a 2 1/2-hour interview in the Apple boardroom a few days before,” Schlender writes.

“Jobs is obviously feeling good, and with good reason. Overnight, it seems, Apple has broken out of its box as a boutique computer maker and emerged as a force to be reckoned with in consumer electronics, music, and who knows what else. ‘The great thing is that Apple’s DNA hasn’t changed,’ he says. ‘The place where Apple has been standing for the last two decades is exactly where computer technology and the consumer electronics markets are converging. So it’s not like we’re having to cross the river to go somewhere else; the other side of the river is coming to us,'” Schlender writes.

Full article (subscription required to read the entire piece) here.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Why Apple’s ‘Mac mini’ is so special: it’s the software, stupid – February 06, 2005
What really counts with Apple’s new ‘Mac mini’ is the included software – February 06, 2005
Motley Fool commentator: Apple has jumped the shark with new Mac mini – January 12, 2005


  1. As much as some would love it to be so, it’s highly unlikely he gets the “it’s the software, stupid” line from MDN.

    We all know that is nothing more than a play off an already popular phrase…

  2. Jobs already used that line a while back… if MDN would have done their research, they would know that he’s been using that one for a while. I can’t pinpoint which keynote or interview, but he already used that one….

    anyone out there have a reference?

  3. Wow, great article! Fortune has loved Steve for a long time but this is the best yet. Now we have some awesome quotes to use when blasting so-called analysts who fail to see that it truly is “the software, stupid!”

  4. Got that number before it was removed ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” /> Thanks, the article was well worth the read.
    This isn’t a quote but one of my favorites from the article was that OSX is like an “Abrams tank with Porsche styling”. Industrial strength beneith, cool and hot on top. Doesn’t get much better then that ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  5. Worth the read. A view inside:

    I heard Apple stepped on Adobe’s toes by making iMovie and Final Cut, turns out Adobe declined a personal invitation.

    The division that builds Apple’s apps is 1000 strong.

    A guy who left Apple when Jobs came back wrote SoundJam. On Jeff’s reputation, Apple bought it, rehired him, and Jeff’s team turned it into iTunes.

    Rapid development: Teens playing with mp3’s inspired iTunes (4 months), iTunes inspired iPod (9 months), iPod inspired iTMS (18 months).

    “three of the biggest PC makers are wooing Jobs to let them license OS X and adapt it to computers built around standard Intel chips.”

    2004 Apple RND: $500,000,000

    The survival rate for Steve’s cancer is 80-90%

  6. Excerpts:

    But a 1998 meeting in which Jobs asked Adobe Systems executives to develop a Mac version of their consumer video-editing program changed his mind. “They said flat-out no,” Jobs recalls. “We were shocked, because they had been a big supporter in the early days of the Mac. But we said, ‘Okay, if nobody wants to help us, we’re just going to have to do this ourselves.’ “

    So Apple plunged into the OS X applications business. It bought a languishing project from web software company Macromedia, and in less than a year turned out two programs that capitalized on the iMac’s ability to connect to digital camcorders: a video-editing program for professionals called Final Cut Pro and a simplified version for consumers called iMovie. Apple’s Applications Software Division, which sprang from the project to become what is now a 1,000-engineer-strong group, has been on a roll ever since.


    “I felt like a dope,” says Jobs, thinking back to summer 2000, when his fixation on perfecting video editing on the Mac distracted him from noticing that millions of kids were using computers and CD burners to make audio CDs and to download digital songs called MP3s from illegal online services like Napster. Yes, even Jobs, the technological visionary of his generation, occasionally gets caught looking in the wrong direction. “I thought we had missed it. We had to work hard to catch up.”


    Merrill Lynch analyst Steve Milunovich predicts that the iPod business alone will hit $6.2 billion in fiscal 2006, roughly as big as all of Apple when Jobs took over. (Of course, the iPod’s growth will eventually flatten as the devices lose their fad status. Yet the gadgets are so useful that it’s easy to imagine them becoming as ubiquitous as the Walkman—of which Sony has sold 340 million.)


    Apple has cast a shadow over Microsoft too. Jobs likes to say that the upcoming Tiger version of OS X will have everything that Bill Gates and Microsoft are promising in Longhorn, the often delayed major upgrade of Windows, now due in mid-2006. “They copied the original Mac with Windows 95,” Jobs gloats, “and now they’re going to be copying us again.” (Microsoft declined comment.)


    Most tantalizing of all is scuttlebutt that three of the biggest PC makers are wooing Jobs to let them license OS X and adapt it to computers built around standard Intel chips.

  7. Just the other night I was reading an MDN article that actually referenced to allow us to bypass the login of some website and today they are pulling every post that contains a mention of the site…. hmmmm…
    Is there something we should know MDN?
    Does this have anything to do with not being allowed to say “Damn” on Super Bowl pre-game shows?

  8. You know i counted up the number of letters in the article and i’ll be a son of a gun if it didn’t add up to 188066379. What an interesting number.

  9. It’s what I’ve been saying since I first worked on a Mac back in the late 80s. The Mac is a consumer electronics device stuck in a market of hobbyists and vocational users. The market is finally catching up with Apple.

  10. loki, I’m inclined to cut them some slack.

    In my years reading MDN, I’ve seen plenty of harsh critisism toward them go untouched, times when making a change would have served them well. This isn’t about offending MDN, its about offending the news sources on which MDN depends.

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