New York Magazine asked back in June 2007 if Steve Jobs and Apple had peaked

New York Magazine asked back in June 2007 if Steve Jobs and Apple had peaked
The death of Steve Jobs at 56 brings an untimely end to the life of a man who has left his mark in a number of industries. Back in August when Jobs left his positions as CEO of the company he co-founded, we reported on his legacy in the world of technology, including the melding of computer and animation as Chairman and CEO of Pixar, which he later sold to Disney. Now that he has passed on, ironically coming the day after the introduction of Apple's newest iPhone model, we discovered a feature article published in New York Magazine on June 17th 2007, just prior to the launch of the first Apple iPhone. The focus of the story was the question of whether Jobs and Apple had peaked.

Even back in 2007, Steve Jobs career was broken down to three acts by New York Magazine. Act I is "The Rise" from 1975-1985 as the two Steves (Jobs and Wozniak) start Apple in a Silicon Valley garage and change the face of personal computing with the Apple II. The company goes public, leaving Jobs a multi-millionaire at 25. Act II is "The Fall" (1985-1996) characterized by Jobs' departure from the company he co-founded, replaced by a soft drink executive. He works hard to keep two businesses (NeXT and Pixar) running. The article lists Act III as "The Resurrection" with Steve's return to Apple, the rollout of the iMac, the iPod, the sale of Pixar to Disney and the fattening of the bank book to billionaire status. The story, though, misses out on what happened next as it was written a bit more than a month before the launch of the iPhone.

Jobs certainly seemed to forecast the future when he told the reporter back in May 2007 that, "The usual suspects will try to copy the (iPhone) hardware, and it will take them some time, and maybe they will and maybe they won't be able to." As for the software, which later became iOS,  Jobs said that the software is 5 years ahead of the competition, a lead that Apple has apparently squandered to Android if yesterday's Apple iPhone 4 announcement was any guide.

New York Magazine's take on the Apple iPhone was that perhaps Steve Jobs had bit off more than he and Apple could chew by going into the cell phone business. After all, other companies like Nokia, Motorola and Samsung had previously dealt with the carriers. But Jobs apparently spoke to the carriers in the same way he conducted most business deals-it was his way or the highway. Rumors circulated that Verizon had turned down the chance to be the first carrier to offer the iPhone because Jobs had demanded input into how the carrier would price the service plans for the device. AT&T was said not to be Steve's first choice, but because they were more flexible and perhaps shared the executive's view on where the phone was heading, the company ended up with an exclusive in the U.S. that lasted until this past February.

Ironically, the article passed along a rumor that Google was about to buy Apple. Android users probably shudder to think what would have happened if that happened. The magazine closed out the article by saying that if the Apple iPhone tuned out to be a failure, Jobs' reputation would take a big hit from "visionary to just another overreaching mogul."

While the entire story of the Apple iPhone is still being written, and we don't know what lies at the finish line, we do know that the Steve Jobs story has sadly come to an end. And with the success of the Apple iPhone and later, the Apple iPad, Jobs' reputation was cemented as a visionary. No doubt the iPhone will be around long after his death today. Like Walt Disney, another visionary who had written the book for his employees to follow after his death, the impact of Steve Jobs will live on at Apple for years from now. A bit of the man will still be found in the hardware and software of every device that the company launches for the next several years.

source: NewYork



1. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

blast from the past. just rewatched that launch video. amazing how things have changed like how the 3.5 inch screen was concidered big, and 160ppi was top of the line.. lol also noticed a bunch of half truths in the features list he showed, but whatever. not like it matters at this point in time.

10. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

Look it's remixfa, the village idiot of phonearena. Can you please stop babbling for once; it's just damn annoying. Steve Jobs recently passed away and taking pot shots at him is really bad form. Whether you like Steve or not, whether you prefer android over iOS, it doesn't change the fact consumers are better off today due to Steve's vision and passion.

25. Penny

Posts: 1859; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

@ ardent1 Didn't really seem like remixfa's statement was taking any shots at Jobs or Apple. Just seemed like an honest moment of reflection. Don't be on edge or act like you need to protect Steve Jobs's reputation, the tech community is aware of what he brought to the table and give him respect for it.

2. Yeeee

Posts: 190; Member since: Aug 02, 2011

Even though I don't like Apple if it wasn't for them Android wouldn't be as good as it is today. If Android wasn't around yesterdays announcement would have been considered revolutionary. Competition makes both of them better.

3. warrenellis

Posts: 102; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

wow 2 megapixel camera no flash and the crowd goes wild

4. The_Rock

Posts: 5; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

Brings back memories, time goes by so fast : (

5. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

The king is dead. Long live the king!

6. toystore unregistered

He is not dead, god call him for design a iphone for him....... He will be back....

7. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

The man had a great mind and had fantastic business sense. No doubt about it. However, I really, really doubt that we would've lost Android/any innovation at all in the mobile industry had it not been for Apple. Android was already being worked on by the time the iPhone project was started up. We'll never know where we'd be today without iOS and Apple spurring competition to outdo them, but I personally think we would've lost a year or two at most. It's the nature of the free market: if one person fails to come up with a concept or bring it to fruition, another person will. So maybe we can consider him a catalyst, but definitely not the only person in the world, nor was Apple the only company in the world, which could've come up with something like the iPhone and sold the bejeezus out of it.

8. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

Do you really have to bring in your taking points today. This is not about android. RIP Steve jobs a true visionary

9. Yeeee

Posts: 190; Member since: Aug 02, 2011

he was basically responding to my post at the top

13. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Taco, I just wanted to make it clear that while Jobs deserves credit for some things, it would be irrational to deify/lionize him in death. It's a mistake humans typically make about the dead, especially public figures. During life: "what a bastard!" After death: "What a great man!" My opinion about the man won't change just because he's dead. It sucks that he died, but he wasn't perfect on Tuesday and he isn't perfect now. I'm not hating, I'm not trying to bring him down. I'm just trying to keep people rooted in reality while they mourn what can be agreed was, in the end, a great man.

17. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

It would be good form to just keep your mouth shut and let others show respect if you can't.

18. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Good old Taco. Never can leave well enough alone, can you? I'm showing Jobs all the respect he deserves right here: He was a great man who did great things and he will be mourned. Boom. Done. Now I'll say that Jobs was also full of negative character aspects and is almost deified when he doesn't deserve to be. He was just a human being, and by many accounts, kind of a jerk. I mean, I wouldn't expect you to sing my praises or stay quiet if you were commenting on a thread about my death. So why should you expect me to change my stance on Jobs since he's dead?

20. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

Why do you need to add all your negative opinions of him to each post. That's bad form. Would you stand up at his funeral and bad mouth him? You don't have to change your stance, but sometimes it pays to know when to be quiet.

21. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Last night I left exactly one post expressing my standing opinion of him and spent the rest of my lucid time thumbing down all of the bad comments about him. Other comments I made were more positive. This is not his funeral, nor would I do something so stupid at someone's funeral. This is more like the snack time after the burial. Speaking of shutting up, what percentage of Android users were going to switch to the next iPhone?

11. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

To Sniggly, man with foot in mouth disease: Microsoft, Intel, etc had 10+ years to make the tablet into something like the iPad. They didn't. No one did except the Steve Jobs and the people at Apple. As for the smartphone that Apple created, no one else could do it either. Samsung, Motorola, Nokia, Palm, etc. couldn't pull it off. Only Apple could have pulled off this trick. Why you ask. No one company can integrate hardware and software as well as Apple. The fact remains Apple is a software company at heart and has been writing software for over 30+ years. They know how to write software. Apple's iPhone 4S is a game changer because it now makes software the must-have-app. The hardware war is no longer that important. Here's an important fact that android fanboys don't get, there are more female consumers in the world than male consumers and the female hand is generally smaller than the male counterpart, respectively. It's the male android fanboys that make the most noise forgetting the fact that Apple continues to sell iPhones to new customers in new markets despites all these criticisms and despite inferior hardware spec's, respectively. As they say in business, the proof is in the pudding and the iPhone is the single best selling smartphone in the market bear none. In fact, the outdated iPhone 3GS continues to outsell many of the newer android devices in the US. These are FACTS. One more newsflash. Apple has either invented or innovated features but will not release them until the technology is ready. A lot of android fanboys take potshots of Apple copying Android but don't realize that Apple already had these features and were waiting until it got the technology correct. Apple is not launching large screens or 4G devices because the battery technology has advanced to a level that meets Apple's stamp of approval. Apple is launching and has continued to launch features that will be copied. One more note -- Apple has about $75 billion in cash and equivalents and marketable securities as of the latest 10-Q filing because it makes products other manufacturers cannot do: A consumer electronic device that is user friendly with a tight integration of both software and hardware. Apple & Co gets it.

12. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

God damn, dude, do you have an original thought in your body? The only thing that Jobs and Co really sped up was a focus on thin, light, simple touchscreen dominant devices. I'm not saying that they didn't do a good job with the iPhone series, and I did say that we would have lost a year or two at most without the iPhone. But the market was already turning in the touchscreen direction. Sure, everything else was clunkier and nothing worked as well, but to say that no one else could have possibly figured out that thin and light=awesome sales would be working from the height of ignorance. Before the iPhone the single best selling phone in the United States was the Motorola Razr, a design known for being thin and light. In fact, flip phone designs from the other manufacturers followed the Razr's design cues for years afterward. Are you really telling me that no one but Apple could have taken that same concept and applied it to the smartphone?

14. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 2011 Looking back it may seem simple but look at the traditionally thinking then.

16. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Well, as usual, watching Steve Ballmer gives me the irresistible urge to punch him in the face and kick him harder in the testicles. The man is quite clearly clueless. He was wrong about the iPhone, he was wrong about Android. He laughed at both. He was right about the price though; iPhone sales only really took off once the price point was lowered. I'm not denying the conventional thinking at the time was that a smartphone looked more like a blackberry. I'm just saying that the idea of designing a touchscreen smartphone that was thin and cool looking would've been thought of pretty soon even if Apple didn't do it.

19. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

So if Einstein hadn't thought of the theory of relativity would someone else do it? If Edison hadn't come up with the light bulb would someone else? PROBABLY! But THEY DID come up with it and that's why they go down in history. Same with Steve Jobs. Sure eventually someone else may have come up with a finger touch UI and multi touch displays, but it was him. He will go down in history as one of the greates visionaries of our time when it comes to technology.

22. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Yes, he gets credit for leading the charge (though I really doubt he did any of the actual leg work on any hardware or software at Apple). For the record, Edison was an asshole too, another guy who took sole credit for the work of a team he put together. Edison's greatest invention was the think tank. Beyond that he actually did some harm to fields like moviemaking and electricity. Just look up his history with Nikola Tesla. Steve had a good eye for what would sell, what would work, and what people would love. He was utterly fantastic at that. But I'd be curious to know how much real work he did on those products that he gets credit for innovating. He didn't make a great first impression with his treatment of Wozniak for the work the latter did on Breakout.

23. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

His name is on over 300 patents so I'd say he did quite a bit of innovating. Look at Apple with him and without him. I know you want to hate him so bad, but give the man credit and if you can't shut up. He just passed away.

24. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Just like Edison has his name on a boatload of patents for ideas he may not originally have had, or done the legwork on, Jobs's name is on over 300 patents which he may or may not have thought of or done the legwork on. And I've given him credit for what I definitely know he deserves credit for. So what now? Do I get to keep talking or do I have to shut up? For the record, I don't want to hate Jobs at all. I never want to hate anyone who plays a role in innovation, making money or creating jobs that last. I don't even hate him now. There are things I like about him, and a lot I really dislike about him. It's like how I don't hate you, and if you weren't going for my jugular all the time I wouldn't even dislike you. Hell, if you treated me or my views with even a basic level of respect, and extended that courtesy to others, I'd like you. Why? You're passionate and you speak your mind. You actually do present facts more often than not, and you obviously value success and good businesses. You have a lot going for you, but worthless spats like this make it hard to like you, as much as I want to like everyone on this site. Do you really want to honor Steve's death? How about looking into a little Buddhist philosophy, finding some inner peace, and extending that peace to those around you, whether or not you disagree? You'll find that people like me will defend you when others still attack you, and if you keep it up long enough the attacks will mostly cease. You can even get along with Remixfa this way, especially since I can talk to him and convince him to be a little friendlier too. Would you like that, Taco? I know I would.

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