Daring Fireball on iPhone4 for Verizon


N92

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

I’ve often quoted the following bit from a 2004 Steven Levy interview with Steve Jobs (including, last May, in a piece speculating on — yes — Verizon and the iPhone):

If that’s so, then why is the Mac market share, even after
Apple’s recent revival, sputtering at a measly 5 percent? Jobs
has a theory about that, too. Once a company devises a great
product, he says, it has a monopoly in that realm, and
concentrates less on innovation than protecting its turf. “The
Mac user interface was a 10-year monopoly,” says Jobs. “Who
ended up running the company? Sales guys. At the critical juncture
in the late ’80s, when they should have gone for market share,
they went for profits. They made obscene profits for several
years. And their products became mediocre. And then their monopoly
ended with Windows 95. They behaved like a monopoly, and it came
back to bite them, which always happens.”

The key bit: “At the critical juncture […], when they should have gone for market share, they went for profits.” I think this encapsulates Jobs’s philosophy since taking over Apple in 1997. Take the high end of the market first, establish a brand and presence, then steadily start to expand.

If they’re at that juncture with the iPhone now, expansion means CDMA. And in the U.S., it means Verizon.

Or, as I’ve read recently, perhaps Apple are just going to do something a bit different. They tend to try and do that.

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