Apple, AT&T: The iPhones, the stores, and the network are ready

“With the much-awaited iPhone set to launch Friday, Apple CEO Steve Jobs and AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson spoke with me about the hotly-desired phone,” Jefferson Graham reports for USA Today.

A few tidbits:

Q: IPhone Day is finally here. How do you feel?
Steve Jobs: We’re about as ready as we’re going to be. We’ve been working for this for many many months now. The phones are ready and the stores are ready.

Q: How long will it take to get phones if you are sold out?
Jobs: We’ve made a lot of them. It may not be enough — but we will work as hard as we can to get more into the stores.

Q: 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?
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.

Full interview here.

The Wall Street Journal’s Nick Wingfield and Amol Sharma also talked with Jobs and Stephenson today:

A few snippets:

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: Can you discuss any applications you’d like to see third-party developers create for the iPhone, specifically things like Skype and other voice over Internet protocol software?

Mr. Jobs: We obviously thought about VOIP. You still need a cellular phone because you’re not always going to be in a Wi-Fi hotspot. One you have a cellular phone plan, it costs you zero incremental dollars to use it when you’re making the next phone call. VOIP, while an interesting technology, didn’t seem to be a big breakthrough to us. But others might feel differently, and others may make Web-based VOIP clients available for the iPhone – I think someone’s already working on that.

Full interview here.

John Markoff reports for The New York Times, “On the eve of the Apple iPhone’s debut, the top executives of Apple and AT&T today defended their decision to rely upon AT&T’s slow Edge wireless data network, rather than a faster network that is less widely available… ‘It doesn’t concern me,’ Randall Stephenson, AT&T’s chief executive officer, said today in a joint telephone interview along with Steven P. Jobs, Apple’s chief executive. The fact that the iPhone offers faster Wi-Fi networking would more than make up for the relatively slow pace of its cellular data network, he suggested.”

Markoff reports, “”Mr. Jobs also said that Apple’s hardware design team had decided against using the more advanced 3G chipsets because were relatively power-hungry. As result, Apple improved the battery life of the iPhone. ‘We felt it wasn’t the right trade-off now,’ he said. ‘I’m sure that will all change in the future.'”

Markoff reports, “AT&T has invested $16 billion into its network over the past two years, and it is now designed to handle the expected increase in wireless data users, Randall Stephenson, AT&T’s chief executive officer, said. ‘Capacity won’t be an issue. The network is ready.'”

“Mr. Jobs seized on the multi-touch technology after Apple product designers proposed it as a ‘Safari Pad,’ a portable Web-surfing appliance. Instead, he saw the technology as something that could be used for a similar purpose in a cellphone, said a former Apple employee,” Markoff reports.

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Shogun” for the heads up.]

34 Comments

  1. I’m sure the phone is ready, but I’m not so sure about the network. AT&T didn’t have the capacity in San Francisco last Sunday afternoon near City Hall. Even though I had excellent wireless coverage, every call I tried to make, including to check my own VoiceMail, failed for hours…

  2. From USA Today:
    Q: Except for operating system upgrades and Apple TV, the company historically announces a product and then has it for sale immediately. The build-up and hype for the iPhone has been unprecedented — will this change the way you market products?

    Jobs: I don’t think we will. We did this, because you have to get certified by the FCC, and things become public.

    When they’re ready to come out with iPhone v.2 or an iPhone Nano or any other version or revision of iPhone will they still have to FCC it so that they’ll have to announce 6 months early?

    Is it a different answer when you’re talking about a revision verses a new model?

  3. No, Lotus Notes for the Mac has always been around in one form or another. It didn’t have all the features of the PC version, but was quite capable. I used it 7 years ago on our corporate network and got updates from the Lotus discs (they ship the Mac and PC versions on the same disc)

  4. >”Mr. Jobs seized on the multi-touch technology after Apple product designers proposed it as a ‘Safari Pad.”

    That is the first time I’ve read that tidbit. That’s why he earns the big bucks, let’s face it, who in the friggin’ world needs a ‘Safari Pad’. He saw through the Designer’s dreck and pull out the golden egg.

  5. From CNNMoney.com:
    “The iPhone impact

    Because Palm relies on consumers and small businesses for a greater percentage of its business, the company is expected to be more vulnerable to competition from Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone.

    This may be a factor in the company’s disappointing forecast for the current quarter. Palm expects revenue to come in between $355 million and $365 million. Earnings excluding stock-options charges are expected to come in between 7 cents a share and 9 cents a share.

    This is well below analysts’ expectations for earnings of 14 cents a share on revenue of $392.8 million for the period.

    Executives from Palm admitted as much during a conference call with investors Thursday. (Ed) Colligan said the company was taking “competitive product launches” into consideration for its guidance for the quarter.

    ‘I don’t know if it can possibly live up to the hype,” he said. “But we’re taking into account that there will certainly be some stall for at least a couple weeks while people check them [the iPhone] out. And they will have 30 days to return it, so we hope we’ll benefit from that, if that happens.'”

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