updated 12:30 pm EDT, Mon June 18, 2007
The Wall Street Journal has published excerpts from Walt Mossberg's discussion with Steve Jobs at the D5 "All Things Digital" conference late last month. In the interview, Jobs says that Apple is in two businesses (the Mac and the iPod, with the iPhone emerging as a business) and a hobby (the Apple TV). He also says that the iPhone's software is so advanced it will be virtually inimitable for 5 years, and talks about the ubiquity of iTunes on Windows systems.
Regarding the hobby-like nature of the Apple TV, Jobs told Mossberg "everybody from TiVo to Microsoft" has failed in this arena, because it's a very tough market to crack. Of course, he believes Apple can do it -- given a year to 18 months of improvement on the current product.
Jobs also reveals in the interview that Apple is "working with other record companies" on delivering DRM-free ("iTunes Plus") tracks in the same manner as EMI. "We've gone to them and said, 'Look, you're shipping 90% of your music DRM-free. Customers are willing to pay a little bit more to get their downloaded music DRM-free, and why don't we do this?' We were successful in persuading EMI, and hopefully over the rest of this year will be successful in persuading most or all of the rest of the labels."
Interestingly, the only portion of the interview excerpt to discuss Macs is a single question about the name change from Apple Computer Inc. to Apple Inc, to which Jobs responds that Apple is "totally" committed to the personal computer space, and says "We're rolling out the next generation of our operating system, Leopard, which we'll ship in October."