Wired's got an interesting piece up today, titled Steve Jobs’ 6 Sneakiest Statements which outlines some of Apple's whimsical CEO's masterful misdirections over the years.
1. During a 2008 earnings call Jobs said that Apple could not make a $500 computer that was not a “piece of junk" fueling speculation that the tablet would cost $1,000. Irony: the iPad is a $500 computer.
2. During the 2003 All Things D conference Jobs told Walt Mossberg "There are no plans to make a tablet," and "It turns out people want keyboards…. We look at the tablet, and we think it is going to fail." Wow, fail is a pretty strong word these days, but then again seven years a long time ago.
3. Jobs panned the mobile phone in the same interview, saying "I get a lot of pressure to do a PDA. What people really seem to want to do with these is get the data out. We believe cellphones are going to carry this information. We didn’t think we’d do well in the cellphone business. What we’ve done instead is we’ve written what we think is some of the best software in the world to start syncing information between devices. We believe that mode is what cellphones need to get to. We chose to do the iPod instead of a PDA."
4. Jobs also panned the Kindle in 2008, saying "It doesn’t matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people don’t read anymore. Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year. The whole conception is flawed at the top because people don’t read any more."
... only to do a complete 180 degree turn in his Janaury 27, 2010 iPad launch event, saying "Amazon’s done a great job at pioneering this functionality with their Kindle, and we’re going to stand on their shoulders and go a bit further."
5. In January 2003, Jobs told Mossberg "I’m not convinced people want to watch movies on a tiny little screen," Jobs said. "To paraphrase Bill Clinton, 'It’s the music, stupid, it’s the music!' Music’s been around for a long time, will continue to be, it’s huge." In 2005 Apple released the fifth-generation iPod with a 2.7-inch screen that played video. Then in 2007 Apple released the third-generation iPod Nano with a 2-inch screen that played video.
6. When asked in September 2009 why Apple put a camera in the iPod nano and not in the new iPod Touch Jobs explained the lack of a camera was to keep the price down, so Apple could market the Touch as an inexpensive gaming device. "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."
Here's another one that Wired neglected to include:
7. Jobs said in 2004 that Apple wasn't going to make a flash-based iPod because their capacities were too small. Adding that flash-based digital music players are often received as gifts, are rarely used, and "end up in a drawer." Apple later released the flash-based iPod nano in 2005.