Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Steve Jobs' February 2008 SDK Keynote

The following is just creative writing for fun - it is entirely speculation based upon publicly available information.

So we have this fantastic new SDK for our touch platform. It means we can build more great apps. But what apps should we build? After all, the iPhone and iPod Touch already do so much.

Well the first question we asked was “do people really want to buy more apps?” It seems like most smart phone users decide to just stick with the software their phone comes with. And that’s no surprise when you see what’s involved in buying and installing software on most smart phones. I don’t want to name any names, but you know what I mean. It’s not a great experience today.

But then in January, we released a software update for our iPod Touch customers, and it turns out that the response has been huge. We were absolutely staggered by the numbers on this – in the first week after it was released, over XX% of iPod Touch owners had bought the upgrade. That’s an amazing number.

So what does this tell us? It tells us that people will buy software for their mobile devices, as long as we get three things right:
  • Make it easy – buying mobile software right now is just too hard
  • Make it good – let’s be honest, the downloadable mobile software on the market today just isn’t great
  • Make it affordable – people don’t want to pay desktop prices for mobile software
So if people want to buy mobile software, what kind of software do they want to buy? Well let’s take a look at what kinds of software you get on a desktop Mac or PC:

  • Multimedia already have the iPod built in
  • Calendars already have a great calendar
  • Communication already have world’s best mobile phone and desktop class e-mail
  • Creative Professionals people don’t want to design or make music on their mobile
  • Utilities don’t need utilities, iPhone works beautifully just as it is
  • Education phones are not really for the classroom
  • Games
  • Business Productivity

That just leaves two areas – games and business. Well we’ve been selling games on our classic iPods for years now, and it turns out they’re really popular. But not with hard-core gamers. You know, we don’t have people playing World of Warcraft on their iPods. No. These games are different – they’re for mere mortals, and they’re fun. And one of our biggest games on the 5th generation iPod is from a company called PopCap, and it’s called Zuma. Well we gave PopCap an advanced copy of our SDK, and they’ve been busily working on developing some great games of our MultiTouch devices, including Zuma. These games are not simple ports – PopCap have really got into the whole touch interface thing, and it turns out that Zuma is even better with a MultiTouch display. And at this point, I’m delighted to introduce PopCap’s CEO, David Roberts who’s here to tell us all about it…

…Thanks David, that really was something special. So that’s games, and we think you’re really going to have a lot of fun with them. But what about Business? Do business users want to use an iPhone? Isn’t it really for fun stuff like music? Well in fact, ever since we launched the iPhone, AT&T, O2, T-Mobile and Orange have been inundated by requests for special business plans. Turns out most business users were no more impressed with the competitors’ offerings that we were. That’s why in January both AT&T in the US, and O2 in the UK announced new business plans. Because business users also want the full internet experience and desktop class e-mail on their mobile. But what else do business users want? Well what they really want is this… [shows graphic of spreadsheet, document and presentation icons moving onto an iPhone display, to a round of applause] That’s why today I’m delighted to announce a brand new Apple product, and the first piece of iPhone software that we’re going to make available on the iTunes store. iWork Touch. Because we felt this was a piece of software that was so important to the iPhone, that we wanted to do it ourselves, to make sure that we get it right.

Of course, Apple has got a lot of experience with office productivity software. Our iWork package has been hugely popular on the Mac. So it’s simple, right? We just port iWork to the iPhone… Wrong! Because Word processing on a mobile device is an entirely different kind of application to word processing on a desktop…

To be continued – Part Two this weekend.

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