"I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.
I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.
As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.
I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.
I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you."
– His resignation letter to the board of Apple
"I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life."
– Reflecting on his dismissal as Apple CEO in 1985 after a clash with the board. He went on to buy Pixar and start up NeXT, which was bought by Apple in 1995, giving him a route back into the company
"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’s "mea culpa" at a press conference held to address issues with the antenna of Apple’s iPhone 4. "Antennagate", as it became known, forced the company to issue free bumpers or refunds to those that had already purchased one
"Just avoid holding it in that way."
– Response to a customer complaint about antenna issues with the iPhone 4. Users reported a drop in signal if the device was held in a certain way. Unfortunately for Apple this certain way was how many people held the phone when trying to make a call
"Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works. The design of the Mac wasn’t what it looked like, although that was part of it. Primarily, it was how it worked. To design something really well, you have to get it. You have to really understand what it’s all about. It takes a passionate commitment to really thoroughly understand something, chew it up, not just quickly swallow it. Most people don’t take the time to do that."
– Giving an insight into the design process at Apple
"When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through."
– More of his thoughts on design
"When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something."
– At the Stanford University Commencement Address in 2005
"Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me."
– In philosophical mood
"I wish him the best, I really do. I just think he and Microsoft are a bit narrow. He’d be a broader guy if he had dropped acid once or gone off to an ashram when he was younger."
– On his PC rival, Microsoft founder Bill Gates
"The only problem with Microsoft is they just have no taste. They have absolutely no taste. And I don’t mean that in a small way, I mean that in a big way, in the sense that they don’t think of original ideas, and they don’t bring much culture into their products."
– Yep, taking aim at Microsoft again.