Biographer disputes Google CEO’s take on Steve Jobs’ anger at Android

Yesterday, as part of a wider interview with Larry Page, Bloomberg quoted Google’s CEO as saying:

I think the Android differences were actually for show. I had a relationship with Steve. I wouldn’t say I spent a lot of time with him over the years, but I saw him periodically. Curiously enough, actually, he requested that meeting. He sent me an e-mail and said: “Hey, you want to get together and chat?” I said, “Sure, I’ll come over.” And we had a very nice talk. We always did when we had a discussion generally….I think that [Anger at Android] served their interests. For a lot of companies, it’s useful for them to feel like they have an obvious competitor and to rally around that. I personally believe that it’s better to shoot higher. You don’t want to be looking at your competitors. You want to be looking at what’s possible and how to make the world better.

However, Page likely was not present for the behind-the-scenes remarks from the former Apple CEO. Jobs probably put on a more distinguished game face, especially in the last meeting the two had when Jobs was very ill. In addition, Jobs’ anger was more than likely focused on former Apple board member and then previous Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

Biographer Walter Isaacson was present behind-the-scenes with Jobs, and last night he disputed Page’s assertion that Jobs’ anger was “for show”:

Isaacson continued: “It’s almost copied verbatim by Android. And then they licence it around promiscuously. And then Android starts surpassing Apple in market share, and this totally infuriated him. It wasn’t a matter of money. He said: ‘You can’t pay me off, I’m here to destroy you’.”

As for what will happen now that Jobs isn’t around to go ‘thermonuclear’ on Google, Isaacson thinks that Apple CEO Tim Cook will handle things differently. “Tim Cook will settle that lawsuit”, Isaacson added.

In the book, Isaacson quoted Jobs as saying: Read more

Biographer Walter Isaacson on the Leadership Lessons of Steve Jobs

Walter Isaacson, author of the Steve Jobs biography, said in the past he omitted certain details and even referred to the book as a “first or second draft” when discussing plans to expand it with an addendum in a future re-release of the best-selling bio. While we have heard nothing official on those plans since, Isaacson just published a lengthy piece for Harvard Business Review titled “The Real Leadership Lessons of Steve Jobs.”

As noted by Isaacson, he was inspired to write the piece after many attempted to draw management lessons from the biography that he claims, “fixate[s] too much on the rough edges” of Jobs’ personality. Most of the piece focuses on Jobs’ management style, but Isaacson also once again talked about the late chief’s desire to produce “magical tools for digital photography and ways to make television simple and personal.” Here is an excerpt:

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‘Inside Apple’ author Adam Lashinsky discusses Apple secret-keeping and corporate life [video 50 mins]

Fortune’s Phillip Elmer-DeWitt pointed us to an hour long interview and Q&A session at LinkedIn headquarters with “Inside Apple” author Adam Lashinsky.

The interview is conducted by our former boss and current LinkedIn Executive Editor Dan Roth.  As PED noted, one of the more notable exchanges is with a former Apple employee who thought CEO Tim Cook is charismatic enough to be the United States President.  See the clip below (plus another interview this week at Davos).

Interestingly, the former Apple Engineer discusses how his friends at Apple were put on dummy projects until they could be trusted.

Buy the book at Amazon here or free at Audible. Read more

Sculley: If anyone is going to change television, it’s going to be Apple (Murdoch agrees, too)


Photo courtesy of BBC

John Sculley, former vice-president and president of PepsiCo and CEO of Apple between 1983 and 1993, is adamant that Apple —not incumbents such as Samsung— is poised to change the first principles of the television experience. Sculley also confessed in an interview with BBC that has not read Walter Isaacson’s authorized biography of Apple’s late cofounder and CEO. Nevertheless, the executive turned investor underscored Apple’s history of past industry disruptions while opining that the television industry is about to experience Apple’s magic touch:

I think that Apple has revolutionized every other consumer industry, why not television? I think that televisions are unnecessarily complex. The irony is that as the pictures get better and the choice of content gets broader, that the complexity of the experience of using the television gets more and more complicated. So it seems exactly the sort of problem that if anyone is going to change the experience of what the first principles are, it is going to be Apple.

Sculely, 72, is a Silicon Valley investor nowadays, and dispelled some “myths” about his tense relationship with Apple’s cofounder. He said he did not fire Jobs, insisting they had “a terrific relationship when things were going well.” Heck, even Rupert Murdoch is commenting about Apple television, writing on Twitter this morning: “All talk is about coming Apple TV. Plenty of apprehension, no firm facts but eyes on their enormous cash pile”.

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Samsung: Apple Television is old news. Smart TV is the future and already here

When Steve Jobs told his biographer Walter Isaacson that he finally “cracked the code” to building an integrated television set that is user-friendly and seamlessly syncs with all of your devices, Samsung Australia’s Director of Audiovisual Philip Newton told the Sydney Morning Herald that Jobs’ was talking about connectivity.

He laughed off the mythical iTV and dissed Jobs’ TV brain wave as “nothing new,” saying the future is now and it is his company’s Smart TVs:

When Steve Jobs talked about he’s ‘cracked it’, he’s talking about connectivity – so we’ve had that in the market already for 12 months, it’s nothing new, it was new for them because they didn’t play in the space. It’s old news as far as the traditional players are concerned and we have broadened that with things like voice control and touch control; the remote control for these TVs has a touch pad.

Samsung is promoting Smart TVs left and right at the CES show that is underway this week in Las Vegas. The company is showing off apps and games such as Angry Birds running smoothly on Smart TVs. Feature-wise, Samsung Smart TVs are beating Google TVs to the punch with capabilities such as voice interaction, facial recognition, integrated camera controls for multi-video conferencing and multitasking.

Sony, Panasonic and LG are also pushing integrated television sets built around the Smart TV platform. While not officially an exhibitor, Apple reportedly dispatched 250 employees to attend the show and monitor what competition is doing; among them is the head of iOS product marketing Greg Joswiak. Apple has been rumored for months to launch 32- and 37-inch television sets in the summer of 2012. Does Samsung see Apple as a threat?

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Apple invites media for ‘education announcement’ in New York, next Thursday, Jan. 19


Invitation image via @thepeterha

As first reported by The Loop, Apple sent out invites today for a special media event held in New York City next Thursday, Jan. 19. The invitation’s graphic shows the familiar New York skyscraper motif, adorned with the Apple logo silhouette and the tagline:

Join us for an education announcement in the Big Apple.

The invite arrives following a flurry of speculation pertaining to the nature of the event, which was first hinted by AllThingsD. The publication reported on Jan. 2 that Apple’s presser will not be huge —at least not compared to the company’s splashy theatrical announcements—nor will it cover any iPad or Apple TV hardware news.

Instead, it will focus on iBooks, another report said. With education the focus, this leaves iBooks and perhaps textbooks, another market Jobs wanted to disrupt, as the main attraction. The presser is said to involve Apple’s Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue, whose recently expanded responsibilities now include the App Store, iTunes Store, iAd, iCloud and iBooks.

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iOS 5.1 beta reveals Apple’s plan to soon ship iPads, iPhones with quad-core chips

Speed increases are an expected part of Apple’s iOS device hardware upgrades, but what Apple has up their sleeves for speed enhancements is typically up for debate. The first-generation iPad clocked around 1GHz with the single core A4 processor, and —a year later—Apple bumped the iPad’s chip to dual-core-speed with the A5 processor. While not quite confirming that a quad-core processor will power Apple’s third-generation iPad, we have obtained evidence that suggests Apple is currently working on quad-core iOS devices.

Hidden deep inside the latest iOS 5.1 beta is updated processing-core management software that not only supports the dual-core processing enabled by the A5 iPhone and iPad chip, but also quad-core processing. The references to quad-core iPhone and iPad chips come by way of a hidden panel that describes cores that are supported by iOS device hardware. The updated core management software includes an option of “/cores/core.3,” and this represents a fourth available processing core… more details after the break:

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Adam Lashinsky’s look ‘Inside Apple’ will be released on Jan. 25

Fortune Sr. Editor-at-Large Adam Lashinsky spent the last few years digging deep inside Apple looking for what makes Apple, Inc., tick. Fortune ran a bit earlier this year in a cover story called “How Apple works: Inside the world’s biggest startup,” and it holds up as a fascinating read. The full version of the book, “Inside Apple,” is tabulated at 240-to-272 pages and hits stores Jan. 25. It is currently available for pre-order at $16.92 for the hardcover or $12.99 for the Kindle version and $17.92 for the Audio version.

INSIDE APPLE reveals the secret systems, tactics and leadership strategies that allowed Steve Jobs and his company to churn out hit after hit and inspire a cult-like following for its products.If Apple is Silicon Valley’s answer to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, then author Adam Lashinsky provides readers with a golden ticket to step inside. In this primer on leadership and innovation, the author will introduce readers to concepts like the “DRI” (Apple’s practice of assigning a Directly Responsible Individual to every task) and the Top 100 (an annual ritual in which 100 up-and-coming executives are tapped a la Skull & Bones for a secret retreat with company founder Steve Jobs).Based on numerous interviews, the book offers exclusive new information about how Apple innovates, deals with its suppliers and is handling the transition into the Post Jobs Era. Lashinsky, a Senior Editor at Large for Fortune, knows the subject cold: In a 2008 cover story for the magazine entitled The Genius Behind Steve: Could Operations Whiz Tim Cook Run The Company Someday he predicted that Tim Cook, then an unknown, would eventually succeed Steve Jobs as CEO.While Inside Apple is ostensibly a deep dive into one, unique company (and its ecosystem of suppliers, investors, employees and competitors), the lessons about Jobs, leadership, product design and marketing are universal. They should appeal to anyone hoping to bring some of that Apple magic to their own company, career, or creative endeavor.

Lashinsky also interviewed Walter Isaacson Dec 14th (posted last week) which turned into an interesting conversation. The two authors, who were both deep diving into Apple, shared notes —so to speak.

One subject we are looking forward to learning more about is Apple University. Lashinsky originally laid it out like this:

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Walter Isaacson plans to expand Jobs biography, release annotated version with addendum

Walter Isaacson cannot write an alternate ending for Steve Jobs in his famed biography, but the author is entertaining plans to expand the 630-page book in the future.

Isaacson shared his upcoming plans, and numerous anecdotes about the two years he spent with the late Apple CEO, at a Dec.14 event hosted by the Commonwealth Club of California. Fortune senior editor Adam Lashinsky moderated the sold-out discussion.

The biographer mentioned plans to create an annotated version of the best-selling biography.

According to CNN’s Fortune, the author also described Jobs’ influence on the book’s cover at the San Francisco event. The Apple cofounder apparently teased Isaacson about quitting the interviews unless he was given input over the cover:

“It took me about one and a half seconds to say, ‘Sure!’” said Isaacson to the event’s crowd. “I mean this is one of the greatest design eyes of our time.”

Isaacson further discussed writing an addendum to the book that details the days before and after Jobs’ death:

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‘Steve Jobs: Billion Dollar Hippy’ BBC documentary airs tonight

BBC is getting set to air a new documentary entitled ‘Steve Jobs: Billion Dollar Hippy’ tonight at 9:00pm on BBC HD and BBC Two. According to the Telegraph, the documentary apparently presents a more “ruthless image of Jobs” where Wozniak reveals that Jobs reduced him to tears following the release of Walter Isaacson’s ‘Steve Jobs’ bio (click the image above for the clip of Woz from the doc):

Jobs, for instance, tricked a young Wozniak into writing code for a computer game but pocketed the majority of the payment for the project from Atari himself. Wozniak admits on the programme that he cried when he heard about Jobs’s scam following the release of a book on Jobs.

The doc is hosted by Evan Davis, and features appearances from Tim Berners-Lee, Rita Clifton, and Stephen Fry. It will also of course include interviews with Steve Wozniak and others that were close to Apple and Jobs. The program profiles Avie Tevanian, who worked with Jobs as head of software at Apple until 2006, who tells a story of trying to get Jobs to join in on a stag party: Read more

Official: Steve Jobs bio a top seller across formats


Walter Isaacson signing books in Times Square | Photo: Tanner Curtis

We noted last week that Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography published by Simon & Schuster became Amazon’s best-selling book of 2011, but that included just sales of the dead trees version. Print sales do not, however, paint an accurate picture because Kindle e-books are now outselling hardcover and paperback editions combined, prompting Amazon to include Kindle books into the rankings.

The company this morning issued a press release stating that the biography of Apple’s late co-founder broke all records to become the best-selling book of 2011 – just 50 days following the October 23 release. It’s not just Amazon, the book also topped Customer Favorites chart on Amazon and is #2 on Audible.

The exclusive biography is also a top-seller in the Non-fiction category on Apple’s iBookstore, where it can be yours for fifteen bucks. It’s also available as a digital download from the Kindle store. It did not fare as well on Barnes and Noble however, only garnering a #34 ranking of NookBooks. Go past the fold for Amazon’s list of Top 10 best-selling books overall.

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New renderings of the Spaceship campus: Solar paneled roof, beautiful natural surroundings


Dark roof adorning Apple’s upcoming Spaceship campus suggest solar panels.

UPDATE [Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at 12:55pm]: A reader chimed in about that black roof. Find the update added to the article bottom.

Apple’s upcoming campus in Cupertino, California is reminiscent of a spaceship with a footprint bigger than the Pentagon. The spectacular building should be completed by 2015, provided all goes as planned. Now, over the past few months we’ve been shown breathtaking renderings and descriptions of the 175-acre circular structure adorned in glass. The original conceptual images that had owed Cupertino City Council back in June and detailed drawings released in August have now been coupled with a brand new set of renderings that slip a couple of noteworthy details.

Yesterday, a new proposal Apple submitted on Monday has been made public at the City of Cupertino web site (via iPhoneinCanada.ca). Four PDF documents weighing in at more than a hundred megabytes (Introduction, Site Plan & Landscaping, Floor Plans and Renderings) pitch the Spaceship building as “an integrated 21st century campus surrounded by green space”.

The company specifies its “distinctive and inspiring 21st century workplace” will “consist of 2.8 million square feet over four stories, and accommodate up to 13,000 employees”, respecting Apple’s security needs “in part through perimeter protection”. We can see how taking some paperwork to another department inside this monstrous super structure will be a lunch killer for some employees. The site is bounded by East Homestead Road on the north, properties adjacent to Tantau Avenue on the east, Interstate 280 on the south and Wolfe Road on the west. Apple doesn’t appear to have overlooked anything. Read on…

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