Speaking from the Wall Street Journal's D: All Things Digital conference this afternoon in Carlsbad, Apple CEO Steve Jobs made a number of interesting statements. Most notably, Jobs confirmed that Apple had designed its own PDA device, but canned the project just prior to bringing it to market. Also of interest to Apple followers:
- A Security update which closes all the recent vulnerabilities should be "available today, but no later than the end of the week." Jobs said that the vulnerability came to Apple in two parts, with the first being in February and the second in May. The first vulnerability was not disastrous unto itself, but when compounded by second, it became critical. Jobs said it took Apple three weeks to fix the problems once they understood the seriousness of the flaw.
- iTunes 4.6 should be out later in the day, not this week.
- Jobs stated that he is proud not only of the products Apple has shipped, but also the products Apple has decided not to ship. When asked to elaborate, Jobs replied, "an Apple PDA."
- During a Q&A session, one individual pleaded with Jobs (as he clenched his Treo), begging for Apple to produce a PDA/Phone hybrid. Jobs told the audience member it would be best to remain happy with his Treo.
- Jobs was reportedly pressed hard about supporting the WMA format. He said that Apple has no plans to support the format unless Microsoft reaches 50% market share, at which point Jobs welcomed Microsoft to ask him again.
- Jobs alluded to a new product when he was setting context prior to announcing the Airport Express. He said people also want the iPod to work better in their car, and to expect some announcements later in the year. Jobs had an image on the screen of the inside of a BMW, with the BMW logo Photoshop'd out.
- Jobs said Apple is working very hard at getting the price down on the iPod. When asked when it will happen, he just smiled.
- When Jobs was demonstrating the new Airport Express, Walt Mossberg said that the biggest problem he saw was that users had to get up and walk to their computers to change play lists. Jobs joked that walking was good, but when pressed, he smiled a wry smile. AppleInsider correspondents took this to mean that Apple is developing in this area, and the Airport Express is just a step along the way.
- Jobs confirmed the European launch of iTMS on June 15.
Steve Jobs dazzled a very exclusive, high-powered crowd. Carly Fiorina of Hewlett-Packard spoke before him, and took a barrage of questions for which she didn't have good answers; Bill Gates spoke of the digital hub in only the broadest visionary terms. Jobs was amazing and very insightful, and he actually delivered.
Further details should be available later in the day.