It’s been another momentous week at Apple. More outstanding financial results followed news that iconic founder and CEO Steve Jobs would be taking another period of medical leave. Here CBR rounds up some of his more memorable recent quotes.
"You know, we’re not perfect. We know that, you know that. And phones aren’t perfect either. We started getting reports about issues with the antenna system. This was 22 days ago… we haven’t had out head in the sand. We’ve been working on this for just 22 days. We are an engineering company, and we want to find out what the real problem is. We’ve been working our butts off so we can come up with real solutions."
– Jobs launches his "mea culpa" at a press conference held to address issues with the antenna of Apple’s iPhone 4, where users saw reception drop when the phone was held in a certain way. "Antennagate", as it became known, forced the company to issue free bumpers or refunds to those that had already purchased one.
"Stop me if you’ve seen this before."
– At the launch of the iPhone 4. A prototype device had previously been left in a bar by an Apple software engineer and subsequently sold to gadget blog Gizmodo.com.
"In 2007 the iPhone reinvented what we thought of as a smartphone. It’s hard to remember what it was like. It was really different before the iPhone. It started to change things. In 2008 we added 3G and the App Store, in 2009 the 3GS was twice as fast, and we added some other cool features like video… in 2010 we’re going to take the biggest leap since the original iPhone. You gotta see this in person. This is beyond the doubt, the most precise thing, and one of the most beautiful we’ve ever made. Glass on the front and back, and steel around the sides. It’s like a beautiful old Leica camera."
– More from the iPhone 4 launch.
"Everybody uses a laptop and/or a smartphone. And the question has arisen, lately, is there room for a device in the middle? We’ve questioned this for years ourselves, but the bar is pretty high. The problem is, netbooks aren’t better at anything. They’re slow, they’re clunky. They’re just cheap laptops. What this device does is extraordinary. You can browse the web with it. It’s the best web experience you’ve ever had. Way better than a laptop, way better then a phone."
– At the launch of the iPad.
"It is meaningless, unless your tablet also includes sandpaper, so that the user can sand down their fingers to around one quarter of the present size. Apple’s done extensive user-testing on touch interfaces over many years, and we really understand this stuff. There are clear limits of how close you can physically place elements on a touch screen before users cannot reliably tap, flick or pinch them."
– Responding to suggestions that Apple may release an iPad with a smaller screen. That must have come as a surprise to Apple’s iPhone users: they have been tapping, flicking and pinching elements on a screen half the size of the iPad for years.
"At my request, the board of directors has granted me a medical leave of absence so I can focus on my health. I will continue as CEO and be involved in major strategic decisions for the company. I have asked Tim Cook to be responsible for all of Apple’s day to day operations. I have great confidence that Tim and the rest of the executive management team will do a terrific job executing the exciting plans we have in place for 2011. I love Apple so much and hope to be back as soon as I can."
– An email to staff announcing another period of medical leave.
And some from the archives:
"Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations."
– One of his 12 Rules of Success.
"A lot of companies have chosen to downsize, and maybe that was the right thing for them. We chose a different path. Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of customers, they would continue to open their wallets."
– He was right, wasn’t he?
"I’m the only person I know that’s lost a quarter of a billion dollars in one year…. It’s very character-building."
– Quoted in Apple Confidential 2.0: The Definitive History of the World’s Most Colorful Company.
"And one more thing…"
– His famous line delivered at conferences just before announcing a new product.