Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ post iPhone Event Q&A

Following Apple’s iPhone Software Roadmap Event this morning, Apple CEO Steve Jobs, Senior VP of Worldwide Product Marketing Phil Schiller, and Vice President of iPhone Software Scott Forstall held a Q&A session:

• For what is the $100 million iFund intended? Investment in young, innovative developers and to help promote the iPhone ecosystem.

• Should RIM be worried? Jobs, “You should ask them.” Phil Schiller says this is about listening to customers and trying to serve their needs.

• What about security? Jobs: It’s a dangerous world out there. A big concern. On one side a closed device like the iPod which always works; you pick it up, it always works. On the other side, a Windows PC; people spend a lot of time every day getting back up to where it’s usable. We want best of both, reliability of the iPod, but with ability to run third-party apps. Registered developers get a electronic certificate, so if the write a malicious app, we can track them down, and tell their parents. (laughter) We’re putting some controls, some we’re talking about today. and others that we’ll keep to ourselves for now. Scott Forstall, who runs iPhone software at Apple, says they can protect people.

• What about a VoIP application? Jobs says Apple will only limit VoIP over the cell network, but will allow such apps over WiFi. So, VoIP over WiFi is a go!

• Multiple sync? Yes. Multiple accounts, calendars, contact databases, but one Exchange account at a time, though.

• What if dev. doesn’t want to distribute through Apple’s App Store? Jobs: Then they won’t be able to distribute their app to the iPhone. “We think this will be a boon to developers, there is no other method to get apps in front of all every iPhone user.” Apple doesn’t plan to make money with the App Store.

• Would SIM unlocking software be an example of software not allowed to be sold via App Store? Jobs says “Yes.” (laughter).

• Update fee for the iPod touch upgrade: Jobs says Apple will set the fee in June. “We don’t look at this as a profit opportunity.” It’s necessary for accounting purposes.

• Can IT convert easily from Blackberry to iPhone? Schiller: Yes, it uses ActiveSync and it’s actually less service to manage and easier to use. Apple will provide tools for IT managers to use to configure devices and enable easy automation of the process. Jobs wonders why CIOs aren’t more worried about Blackberry security with all of their messages going through single Canadian NOC (Network Operations Center). “Nobody seems to be focused on that. We certainly are. We think that a direct connection could be a little more secure.” (Related article: Massive Blackberry outage affects all of North America; iPhone users unaffected – February 11, 2008)

• Is this software an international roll out? Yes, in all countries where Apple sells iPhones. Not an open source project, even though it’s a free update. It is a for-profit project.

• WiMax, other connections? We are not here to talk hardware today. Today is about software.

• What about distribution of internal apps in an enterprise? Schiller says working on method. Will have a program of delivery specifically for their end users.

• Will IT organizations have ability to disable certain functions – such as downloads from App Store? Jobs says, “I hope we have that problem.” Forstall says there are parental controls in iPhone 2.0, so you can turn off Safari or other apps, on the iPhone. This could be used for enterprise as well.

• Carrier relationships and their involvement with Apps Store? Jobs says “We have great relationships with our carriers. We struck a new kind of relationship where Apple is responsible on the phone. We define the software on the phone. We run the developer program, We’re distributing the apps. This is our program, and we’re running it.”

30 Comments

  1. The last sentence in this article is the most succinct, clear definition of all that’s different between the typical handset maker – carrier relationship, and Apple’s relationship with the iPhone carriers. “This is our program, and we’re running it!” So, AT&T;, sit back, relax and count your dollars. It has been more than a year since the iPhone and the AT&T;deal have been know to the world. Yet, nobody else has been able to strike this kind of a deal with the carriers. Not a single cellphone maker is able to design and build their cellphone the way they want to. Nobody, except Apple.

    What a spectacular game changer! And I won’t be surprised if, when they announce the software v.2 in June, they also announce the 3G device as well.

    Sweet!

  2. There is no explaining the stock market — Apple’s announcements today regarding the iPhone make it clear that it is no longer just a gadget, it is a platform. And it is a platform with HUGE potential, one big element of which will be its ability to play nice in the enterprise. In short, it is a Trojan Phone, and I am not talking birth control.

    And, still, Apple stock is flat. Go figure. Time to buy more, I guess.

  3. VoIP over WiFi = awesome! Can’t wait to ditch my land line! That feature alone would pay for my monthly cell bill! The only thing keeping my land line connected was that I can not get cell service at home. Great news!

  4. @Ralph M

    Apple does not live in a bubble.

    “Wall Street tumbles while bonds rally after news of more bank troubles and a surge in foreclosures. Falling dollar sends oil to all-time high.”

    You might think that this OTHER news had some effect on Apple stock.

  5. Update fee for the iPod touch upgrade: Jobs says Apple will set the fee in June. “We don’t look at this as a profit opportunity.”

    If they’re not looking to make a profit, then make it free. Then you’ll have a lot of happy iPod touch users out there who won’t feel like they’re being nickel-and-dimed to death.

  6. Forstall says there are parental controls in iPhone 2.0

    iPhone 2.0 will have lots more than what you hear here about SDK, Enterprise and Games. But there’s no reason to let those cats out of the bag today. Forstall probably shouldn’t even have said this about Parental Controls.

    Obviously this comes out with a new iPhone, too, with 3G, etc.

  7. <Ballmer>

    “Should RIM be worried?”

    By the iPhone? Do me a favor.

    Hahahahahahahaha. It’s the most expensive phone in the world and it doesn’t appeal to business because it doesn’t have a keyboard.

    It’ll never sell.

    </Ballmer>

    **********************

    Note: by December browser stats indicated that the iPhone has already outpaced Ballmer’s Windows Mobile:

    “The report reveals that the iPhone now has 0.09% of the browser market. That’s not a lot you would say? It may look like it at first, but when you compare this number with Windows Mobile’s marketshare of 0.06%, you now see that the iPhone Safari browser is a killer app.”

    http://www.iphonefreak.com/2007/12/iphone-safari-b.html

  8. “What if dev. doesn’t want to distribute through Apple’s App Store? Jobs: Then they won’t be able to distribute their app to the iPhone.”

    I gotta admit, I think this is kind of a drag. But, based on the line about corporations, I’m sure Apple will have a way around this.

    This is great for games and the like. But suppose your application works with particular hardware, which you would like to distribute with your product? The user has to buy the app on iTunes and then go to your site to buy the hardware?

    Clumsy…

  9. Dear Obtusegoose,

    You seem to be correctly named. Apple Accounting must charge for the update to the iTouch because the iTouch was purchased with a single fee. The cost of the iPhone, unlike the iTouch, is spread out over 24 months in Apple’s financial accounting, so the company can provide free software upgrades during that period. All this is dictated by the “Sarbanes-Oxley Act” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarbanes-Oxley). We encountered it before from Apple with the 802.11n unlocking software (e.g., http://jfaughnan.blogspot.com/2007/01/sarbanes-oxley-means-no-features-in.html). The law, or at least Apple’s interpretation of it, which many other companies have also adopted, states that you can’t give away new features in software updates because if the features have value that would be cheating the stockholders. Look it up before you go on blathering about free iTouch software updates. They are illegal. The only question is what Apple charges for the update. Jobs says they aren’t trying to make money on it, so presumably it will be nominal.

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