“Five days after the product launch of the decade—we’re talking about the iPad if you hadn’t guessed—Steve Jobs was fielding questions at a press conference on Apple’s Cupertino (Calif.) campus,” Peter Burrows reports for BusinessWeek. “The iPad release had been a stadium-style show, full of stagecraft and choreography meant to wow a global audience. The follow-up was more like a club gig for the truly devoted. The purpose was to show off some improvements to the software that powers the iPad, as well as the iPhone and the iPod touch. Surrounded by journalists and bloggers as interested in the guts of his creation as its flawless skin, Jobs, still gaunt from a cancer-related liver transplant about a year ago, was loose and commanding, his energy and wit at full force. Asked why Apple hadn’t yet included the ability to run small, portable chunks of code called Widgets on the iPad, he grinned. ‘We only shipped it on Saturday,’ Jobs said. ‘And on Sunday we rested.'”
Burrows reports, “It was a joke, of sorts. Apple is not divine—though anyone who rode the stock from $3 to $247 since Jobs’ 1997 return to the company might disagree.”
MacDailyNews Note: AAPL currently stands at $270.83.
Burrows continues, “What Apple has come to resemble is an endlessly expanding cosmos. More than 85 million iPhones and iPod touches are in existence, up from zero in July 2007. IPhone users have downloaded 4 billion apps from Apple’s App Store, and more than 10 billion songs, 33 million movies, and 250 million TV shows from iTunes. IPhone owners, who make up just 2.2% of total mobile-phone consumers worldwide, according to market research firm IDC, chug 64% of all mobile browsing minutes, says Net Applications, another research firm. According to Apple, 500,000 iPads have already been sold, increasing the number of people who have access to a rich life, full of endless media and communication options, without ever leaving the Apple platform.”
“Apple’s neatest trick is that this platform would expand even if Apple were sitting still (it’s not),” Burrows reports. “Forget Apple’s 34,000 salaried employees. More than 125,000 developers now work to make apps for Apple products. Apple pays them nothing. They sign contracts agreeing to Apple’s rigorous terms in the hope that users will buy their apps or view ads on them. In the hope, really, of becoming another little planet orbiting Apple’s sun—with the truly lucky ones landing a spot in the company’s TV spots.”
Burrows reports, “Plenty of companies fancy themselves contenders, including Microsoft, Nokia, Research In Motion, and Google… Yet Apple’s head start in apps may be too great to overcome. More than 185,000 apps are available in the App store, compared with 38,000 in Google’s online store for its Android mobile software platform. Thirty-five thousand new iPhone apps have been produced since February, even as many developers have been working on offerings for the iPad. ‘That’s a lot of developer attention that’s not going to Android,’ notes Bart Decrem, CEO of Tapulous, which makes music-themed iPhone games that are played by 8 million iPhone owners every month.”
Much more in the full article – recommended – here.