Apple CEO Steve Jobs on gaining back lost weight, why iPod touch has no camera, and more

Apple StoreApple’s chief executive, Steven P. Jobs, discussed his health and Apple’s new product line in an interview Wednesday with David Pogue, the personal technology columnist for The New York Times.

• Jobs remarking on Kindle: “You notice Amazon never says how much they sell; usually if they sell a lot of something, you want to tell everybody.”

MacDailyNews Take: Kindle, Schmindle: Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch rule eBook market

• Jobs explaining why iPod touch didn’t get a camera: “Originally, we weren’t exactly sure how to market the Touch. Was it an iPhone without the phone? Was it a pocket computer? What happened was, what customers told us was, they started to see it as a game machine. Because a lot of the games were free on the store… We started to market it that way, and it just took off. And now what we really see is it’s the lowest-cost way to the App Store, and that’s the big draw. So what we were focused on is just reducing the price to $199. We don’t need to add new stuff — we need to get the price down where everyone can afford it.”

MacDailyNews Take: Uh, yeah, riiight. Apple probably figured – and rightly so – that if they put that $5 camera part in the iPod touch, too, they might not sell many iPod nanos. And, we’re being very generous to ascribe a component cost of $5 for a video-only, non-still camera without autofocus capabilities. The type of camera in the nano probably costs Apple less (for example, the much better camera part in the iPhone 3Gs costs Apple around $9.55) and wouldn’t affect the retail price of an iPod touch much, if at all. Shave a little bit more off iPod touch’s healthy margin and you’re still easily at $199 for an 8GB model with a camera like the one in the nano. Now, the iPod touch is noticeably thinner than iPhone 3GS, so that better still/video/autofocus camera part might not fit inside, but the one in the nano certainly would. So, yes, we’re calling “bullshit” on Steve Jobs’ cost excuse. Maybe he feels the nano’s camera isn’t good enough for the touch — that we could see as a valid reason — but he didn’t give that as the reason (of course, he can’t come out and say that in public). If that’s not the case, then the real issue here seems to be the issue of extreme cannibalization. The day iPod touch gets its camera is likely the day Apple discontinues the iPod nano.

MacDailyNews Note: Immediately following Apple’s announcements today we began getting a bunch of emails all of which can be paraphrased: “I wanted to buy my [son, daughter, wife, husband] an iPod with a camera that could access the App Store. Now what am I supposed to do, buy an iPod nano for the camera and an iPod touch for the App Store?” To which we replied: “Surely Apple wouldn’t mind.” These prospective buyers would not even be considering an iPod nano if the iPod touch had a camera.

• Jobs on his health: “I feel great. I probably need to gain about 30 pounds, but I feel really good. I’m eating like crazy. A lot of ice cream.”

Full interview here.

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


  1. Um, MDN? Am I supposed to be upset that the iPod touch didn’t get a video-only camera, with no autofocus? I’m sorry, but if that camera had been put in the touch, everyone would be bitching.

    I mean, c’mon — admit the obvious: everyone was hoping that the iPod touch would get the same camera as the iPhone. And adding that camera to the touch would definately have blown up the price.

    Comparing the sh*tty iPod nano camera to the iPhone camera everyone was expecting? I’m calling “bullshit” on you, MDN.


  2. The main issue I see with a camera in the touch is that it won’t be good enough, and everyone will bitch about it. In the nano, it’s hard to complain that it’s a lame camera – it’s just a silly widget that makes it seem cooler, while not really adding all that much for device usefulness. Similarly, the Flip is a lame device. My sister has one – yeah, it takes video (low-res). But if the video isn’t worth keeping, it’s hardly worth watching. And taking.

  3. Horrendous take by MDN. The iPod touch won’t cannibalize nano sales no matter what features it has, just as the classic never cannibalized mini/nano sales when there was no touch. It’s all about the size MDN.

  4. “video-only, non-still camera without autofocus capabilities”

    Maybe that’s the answer. The Nano is a fun little unit with a not-so-hot camera. The “YouTube-grade” camera is a huge bonus in a Nano, but would feel a little chintzy in a Touch.

  5. @MDN Do you really it only cost 5 bucks to put a camera? You probably dreaming!!!1 maybe it it only cost 5 bucks for the camera, but what about the engineering process and designing of the product? Do you think engineers and designers don’t get pay?

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