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Entries in Steve Jobs (67)

Wednesday
Nov232011

Steve Jobs, Customer Service Rep Extraordinaire

David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- As the legend of the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs grows in leaps and bounds, more information is emerging as to just how involved he was with his company.

A notorious hands-on CEO, Jobs, who died last month after a long battle with pancreatic cancer, even went as far as responding to consumer complaints via email and from time to time, taking a phone call or two from disgruntled customers.

Responding to the occasional problems that arose from Apple's association with longtime carrier AT&T, Jobs wrote Mark Trapp, who expressed frustration over plans to discontinue unlimited data plans, "I think its (sic) going to work out just fine for almost all customers. Try it."

Sometimes, Jobs was not as sympathetic as when he wrote to one customer who griped about Apple not honoring a warranty, "This is what happens when your MacBook Pro sustains water damage. They are pro machines and they don't like water. It sounds like you're just looking for someone to get mad at other than yourself."

One day, customer Scott Steckley was surprised to get a call from Jobs about delays in repairing a computer.  Jobs told him, “just wanted to apologize for your incredibly long wait. It's really nobody's fault. It's just one of those things."

Jobs explained to Steckley that he personally saw to it that he be taken care of since "I see how much equipment you own. It really makes my day to see someone who enjoys our products so much and who supports us in the good times and bad."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov152011

Disney CEO Robert Iger Joins Board of Apple, Inc.

Robert Iger, President and CEO of The Walt Disney Company. Image credit: Disney(CUPERTINO, Calif.) -- Robert A. Iger, the president and chief executive officer of the Walt Disney Company, will take on an additional role as a member of the board of Apple, Inc.

Arthur D. Levinson becomes Apple’s new chairman, succeeding Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who died in October.

The announcement was made by Apple on Tuesday from its headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.

Iger, 60, has been the chief executive at Disney since 2005 and before that was the company’s president and chief operating officer starting in 2000. He first came to ABC, Inc., in 1974, rising to become president and chief operating officer of ABC from 1994 to 1999.

Jobs and Iger knew each other for many years. Shortly after Iger became Disney’s chief executive, the two agreed in 2006 for Disney to acquire Pixar Animation Studios — a company that, under Jobs’ aegis, had reimagined the business of animated films. Under the agreement, Jobs joined the Disney board and became the company’s largest stockholder.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Oct302011

Bill Gates Dismisses Criticism in Steve Jobs Biography

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Microsoft co-founder and chairman Bill Gates dismissed criticisms of him by long-time competitor Steve Jobs in the new biography released after Jobs' death, saying "none of that bothers me at all," while praising the impact the late Apple executive had on the world.

"Steve Jobs did a fantastic job," Gates told This Week anchor Christiane Amanpour. "When you think about why is the world better today, the Internet, the personal computer, the phone, the way you can deal with information is just so phenomenal."

In the biography Steve Jobs, author Walter Isaacson quotes Jobs saying of Gates: "Bill is basically unimaginative and has never invented anything, which is why I think he's more comfortable now in philanthropy than technology. He just shamelessly ripped off other people's ideas."

"You know, he said a lot of very nice things about me and he said a lot of tough things," Gates said, reflecting on their work together on the software for the first Macintosh computer, and on the 30 years they worked together. "We got to work together. We spurred each other on, even as competitors. None of that bothers me at all."

Gates said some of Jobs' frustration with him may have been caused by Microsoft’s business success as Apple struggled for years, before becoming dominant in the last decade.

"He faced, several times at Apple, the fact that their products were so premium priced that they literally might not stay in the marketplace," Gates said. "So the fact that we were succeeding with high volume products, you know, including a range of prices, because of the way we worked with multiple companies, it's tough."

Gates added that the fact that Jobs “felt beleaguered—he felt like he was the good guy and we were the bad guys” was “very understandable."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct262011

Steve Jobs Outlined Plans To Create Apple TV: Biographer

Mike Ehrmann/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- In his final days, Steve Jobs told his authorized biographer, Walter Isaacson, that he was far from finished. One of the many technologies he planned to remake, he said, was your television.

Since Jobs had already reinvented communications (the iPhone), computing (from the Macintosh to the iPad), music (the iPod) and animation (Pixar), the tech world has been abuzz about a possible Apple TV since Isaacson brought it up.

In his book, Isaacson quotes Jobs: "'I'd like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use,' he told me.  'It would be seamlessly synched with all of your devices and with iCloud.'  No longer would users have to fiddle with complex remotes for DVD players and cable channels.  'It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine.  I finally cracked it.'"

So what did he crack?  Is there really something in the works?

Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray & Co., says yes.  Like most Apple products, he predicts, it will be simple, sleek, all-purpose -- and it has the potential to change completely the way you use your TV.

"Imagine a 40- or 50-inch iPad," said Munster.

He said he envisions a system that understands voice commands, using Apple's new Siri virtual assistant, and spares you the trouble of fumbling with a clunky remote that always gets lost between the sofa cushions.

Munster said he's met with component suppliers in Asia, and "I think the inertia is behind it."  Parts are not yet being manufactured, he said, but there could well be an Apple television "in late 2012 or early 2013."

Munster said it will only work, though, if content providers -- TV program producers, video game makers and the like -- recognize its potential and make use of it.  If they do, he said, it could be a threat to cable TV providers and manufacturers such as Sony and Samsung.

"Anyone who manufactures a high-end TV will get hammered," he said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct242011

Steve Jobs' Biographer on the Apple CEO's Polarizing Persona

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Steve Jobs, in the eyes of his biographer Walter Isaacson, was an enigma -- a tough businessman with the temperament of an artist, a sometimes-cruel executive who also cried easily, and an exacting innovator with a messy personal life.

"He wanted perfection," said Isaacson in an interview with ABC's Nightline anchor Bill Weir. "And it was like a Picasso.  It was either perfect or it was worthless.  And so that was his main temperament, which caused him to be, at times, very prickly, very tough on people.  He could yell and scream.  But he's also awesomely charismatic and building the most insanely great machine in the world."

In Steve Jobs, Isaacson describes a driven man, given up as an infant for adoption, a college dropout who had a child out of wedlock and became fascinated by Zen Buddhism, but also had overwhelming success at an early age with the first Apple computers.

Isaacson said Jobs often sought out father figures in his career, then fought them, whether it was deliberately driving without license plates on his car, or early on in his career, skipping showers and wearing shoes to the office -- the former habit, coupled with his prickly personality, that left his superiors at the video game company Atari to banish Jobs to an overnight shift.  

Only after he had been badly wounded, forced out of Apple in 1985 and then brought back a decade later, did he become the disciplined technological titan who brought out the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad.

"You know, he's a very emotional guy," said Isaacson, talking about the late Jobs in the present tense.  "And there are many times, even in our conversations just sitting around at his house with him, where tears come to his eyes.  Tears come to his eyes when he's talking about the beauty of what they designed for the Macintosh."

"So one of the things that struck me the most," Isaacson said, "is how deeply emotional he is, which is why he makes emotional connections very strongly with people."

But he could be merciless in his rants at co-workers and competitors -- "willing to go thermonuclear war" against Google when he thought his one-time friends there were copying the iPhone with their Android software.

Isaacson talked about the "reality distortion field" around Jobs -- the uncanny power he had to make people think he was right and make things go his way.

In the end, he found it didn't always work.  In 2003, he was first diagnosed with cancer and delayed surgery while he tried herbal remedies, acupuncture and treatments he found on the Internet.

Isaacson writes that Jobs' wife, Laurene, was exasperated and increasingly desperate.

"He said that, in retrospect, he's sorry," Isaacson said.  "He said that he didn't want his body to be opened up.  He said that he regrets, you know, waiting so long."

"A lot of people wait before they have an operation," the author continued. "I just think that he has such belief in his power of magical thinking that, in this case, it failed him."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct192011

Steve Jobs Worked on Apple’s ‘Next Product’ Until His Dying Day

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(CUPERTINO, Calif.) -- Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs was still working on the company’s “next project” up until the day he died.

PC Magazine reported that current Apple CEO Tim Cook and Masayoshi Son, the CEO of SoftBank Capital, which distributes the iPhone in Japan, were in a meeting together when Cook got a strange phone call from Jobs and had to abruptly leave the room.

“I said, ‘Where are you going?’ [and Cook] said, ‘My boss is calling me,’” Son said. "That was the day of the announcement of the iPhone 4S. He said that Steve is calling me because he wants to talk about their next product. And the next day, he died.”

Cook’s reaction led Son to conclude that "the announcement of [Apple's] newest product made [Jobs] live longer.”

Apple’s newest product is the iPhone 4S, which was announced on Oct. 4. Jobs died at age 56 on Oct. 5 after battling pancreatic cancer.

However, Cook’s vague statement about the company’s “next product” could have referred to any number of possible future Apple items. It has continued to fuel speculation and rumors online that Jobs could have been working on the iPhone 5 (or perhaps the iPad 3?) for next year.

One thing is obvious: Despite his waning health, Jobs’ devotion appeared to have marched on until his final day.

In 2007, Nightline sat down for a rare interview with Jobs, a notoriously private person, to discuss the launch of the original iPhone.

[Watch the interview here]

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct192011

Apple Stores Close to Honor Steve Jobs

KIMIHIRO HOSHINO/AFP/Getty Images(CUPERTINO, Calif.) -- The new iPhone 4S has drawn lines at Apple stores across the country, but those stores will go quiet at midday Wednesday when the company marks the passing of Steve Jobs.

Apple has been mum about its plans, but it confirmed to ABC News that Apple stores will close at 1 p.m. ET while a "celebration of Steve Jobs' life" is held at an outdoor amphitheater at Apple headquarters in California. The memorial is expected to last about 90 minutes, and employees will be able to watch video of it on a live webcast. The event is closed to the public and the news media.

Jobs died on Oct. 5, surrounded by family, after a long battle with cancer. He was first diagnosed with a rare form of pancreatic cancer in 2004, and traveled to Tennessee for a liver transplant in 2009. His funeral was on Oct. 7, and there was a private memorial service this past weekend.

Apple, meanwhile, reported impressive earnings Tuesday for the last quarter -- profits up 54 percent and sales up 39 percent -- but because it missed analysts' expectations for the first time since 2004, Apple stock dropped when the market opened Wednesday.

Jobs co-founded Apple Computer in 1976 and, with his childhood friend Steve Wozniak, marketed what was considered the world's first successful personal computer, the Apple II.

Industry watchers called Jobs a master innovator -- perhaps on a par with Thomas Edison -- changing the worlds of computing, recorded music, and communications.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Oct162011

California Declares 'Steve Jobs Day' in Honor of Apple Co-Founder 

Tony Avelar/Bloomberg/Getty Images(CUPERTINO, Calif.) -- California Gov. Jerry Brown issued a proclamation declaring Sunday “Steve Jobs Day” in California.

A private memorial service for Apple’s co-founder is slated to be held Sunday evening at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif. with some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley as well as those close to Jobs attending.

Jobs died Oct. 5 from pancreatic cancer.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct142011

Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak on Line for iPhone 4S

KGO-TV(LOS GATOS, Calif.) -- Steve Wozniak is probably the one who least needs to wait for the new iPhone 4S -- he did, after all, start Apple with his childhood friend Steve Jobs. But that’s exactly what he did Friday outside the Apple store in Los Gatos, Calif.

Some of the people who gathered around Wozniak asked him about the key to his success.

“Every measure of intelligence is how well you did on tests,” he said to one young man. “That means, how well did you know the same answer that everyone else in the class knew? There’s only one right answer, and that answer isn’t yours.

[WATCH THE VIDEO FROM ABC NEWS' SAN FRANCISCO AFFILIATE KGO-TV]


“Really, really, very few brilliant people realize, ‘I should think for myself, and start asking questions about things, and start trying to figure out things that are not necessarily the things that are in books.”

Don’t waste time, he urged the teenagers who gathered around him. Start a company.

The lines at Apple stores have been spectacles, and that, Wozniak said, is what’s attracted him to Apple’s major product rollouts.

“It made me think of when I was in college, waiting overnight to get tickets to see the Rolling Stones in Winterland. All night long, we’d stay up. So I’ve done it for all these events, even though I don’t have to.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct142011

iPhone 4S Hits Stores: Five Things to Know About the Smartphone

Apple(NEW YORK) -- The iPhone 4S, which was unveiled the day before Steve Jobs died, is hitting stores -- and is being shipped to those who ordered it online -- Friday.

Here are five things that will be helpful to know if you're an Apple enthusiast unpacking your new phone or waiting for it to come:

Powerful New Phone, But Not a Game-Changer

Apple made a careful, rational decision to upgrade the existing iPhone 4 instead of selling a shiny, mouth-watering -- and potentially buggy -- iPhone 5, said analyst Ross Rubin of the NPD Group.

"The iPhone is a five-year-old product now, and Apple has had success finding a design that works," said Rubin, who writes a technology column for ABC News.  "By allowing it to be offered on Sprint and selling older models at a lower price point, it's increasing its market share."

So the 4S has the same body as its predecessor -- but its innards are significantly changed.  It has a more powerful processor -- the same dual-core A5 chip that runs the iPad 2.  And its eight-megapixel camera is unusually good for shooting in low light.

Siri Will Answer Your Questions Now

The iPhone 4S answers questions and takes voice commands through an "intelligent assistant" called Siri.  Apple says Siri is smart enough to know that if you ask, "How's the weather forecast?" or, "Do I need my umbrella?" you're really after the same thing.

Of course, the phone still has a touch screen with virtual buttons you can touch.

iCloud

Apple's iCloud feature is not actually part of the phone -- but that's the idea.  The hot trend in computing is to store data in the "cloud" -- on the Internet instead of only your laptop or your handheld.  If you saved that document on your computer back home, you'll now be able to check it on your phone, or iPad, or somewhere else without trouble.

Some Wall Street analysts have pointed out that iCloud, at least so far, has fairly limited capacity.  But it's a start.

iOS 5

An OS is just an operating system -- the basic software that keeps something running -- so what's the big deal about Apple's iOS 5?  It's a big enough deal that people crowded online Wednesday to download it and had a good deal of trouble when they tried.

Apple lists 200 features -- such as a "notification center" that combines your emails, reminders, texts and tweets; and "iMessage," a texting system that gets you around those annoying data charges from cell phone carriers.

The Competition

For all the buzz Apple gets, and for all the loyalty many people have to their iPhones, it's not the market leader.  In the U.S., smartphones that run on Google's Android software have 44 percent of customers, according to the research firm ComScore (iPhones have 27 percent).  Worldwide, BlackBerry is most widely used.

But Apple has cornered the market for cool.  The seamless marriage of design and function -- that was Steve Jobs' mission.  The iPhone 4S was the last Apple product announced before he died, though there are reports Jobs left behind detailed plans for products for years to come.

The new model drew almost twice as many online orders in its first weekend as the iPhone 4 in 2010.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio