Steve Jobs’s controversial decisions at Apple: languages ​​are solved…

Steve Jobs's controversial decisions at Apple: languages ​​are solved…


After Jony Ive, it’s Tony Fadell talking about Steve Jobs in a book he wrote. The father of the iPod and founder of Nest talks about the few controversial decisions of Steve Jobs in the era of the iPod and the first iPhone.

Steve Jobs's controversial decisions at Apple: languages ​​are solved…
First iPhone // Source: Mathieu Improvisato

It is the age of arbitrariness. A long-awaited book was released this week, After Steve: How Apple Became a Trillion Dollar Company and Lost Its Soul. So we were able to find out the reasons that led Jony Ive, the legendary chief designer of Apple, to leave his company.

Another book was also very interesting, it’s the book Build (25 euros on Amazon) which tells the story of Tony Fadell’s father’s 30 years working for companies in Silicon Valley (he is also the founder of Nest, bought by Google). But what is interesting here is the interview with CNBC reporter Jon Fortt, who had the opportunity to talk to Tony Fadell.

+@tfadellNest @madebygoogle Founder & #BUILD Author: A Fortt Knox Conversation

—Jon Fortt (@jonfortt) May 4, 2022

The iPod for macophiles only

Tony Fadell was hired by Apple in 2001 to help the company develop its music strategy. This happened shortly before the announcement of the iPod and iTunes, when the first MP3 players were released. Apple wanted to bring its vision to this market with an easy-to-use device, good battery life, fast data synchronization and the ability to store 1000 songs.

Steve Jobs's controversial decisions at Apple: languages ​​are solved…
One of the iPod versions // Source: Jeremy Bezanger

First much-discussed first decision: use the FireWire standard instead of USB on the iPod. The reason was simple: the USB standard at that time only supported 12 Mbps data transfer speeds compared to 1000 Mbps at the time. For comparison, the current USB 4 supports speeds of up to 40 Gbps.

Unfortunately, the first two generations of iPods were only compatible with the Mac. For Windows users, it was absolutely necessary to go through Mac to transfer songs to iPod. Tony Fadell was opposed to this idea, “We need to make sure it works with Windows»,«never in my lifereplied Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs wanted the iPod to be the reason to switch to the Mac T Tony Fadell even contacted the famous journalist Walt Mossberg, a friend of Steve Jobs, to try to convince the founder of Apple. It took a few years for iTunes to land on Windows and iPod support.

Open iPhone in third-party applications

The other controversial decision by Steve Jobs, mentioned by Tony Fadell in the interview, is to open the iPhone to third-party applications. The first iPhone did not have an App Store, this first base of the iPhone operating system came with preloaded applications… and that is. However, at that time, Windows Mobile or Symbian already allowed third-party applications to be installed.

For the first versions of the iPhone operating system, Apple had instead chosen to develop web applications running through Safari. It was Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google and a member of Apple’s board, who pushed this idea; he mainly wanted to allow Google to take advantage of the iPhone ecosystem. The iPhone was already sold with Google as the default search engine, it also had Google Maps and YouTube preloaded.

Steve Jobs's controversial decisions at Apple: languages ​​are solved…
App Store // Source: James Yarema at Unsplash

Finally, after the release of the first two successful iPhones, Steve Jobs saw in the App Store a way to lock people into the ecosystem. This App Store was also a factor in the success of the iPhone we know today.

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