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Summary:

A few lucky individuals sending emails to steve@apple.com have apparently been getting responses from the iconic CEO on a range of topics from Mac availability to iPhone OS 4. The seeming randomness of what gets a response, and the often short, cryptic replies, seem reminiscent of […]

A few lucky individuals sending emails to steve@apple.com have apparently been getting responses from the iconic CEO on a range of topics from Mac availability to iPhone OS 4.

The seeming randomness of what gets a response, and the often short, cryptic replies, seem reminiscent of the famous fortune-telling toy, not that we aren’t all hanging on every single-word reply.

The latest terse missive seen above was in response to a question those of us with iPhone and multiple email accounts have been asking for years. TUAW reports reader Julio R. asked if the “iPhone will ever have a universal mailbox just like Mail has on my Mac?”

In typically minimalist reply, Jobs responded, “Yep.” While that’s not as affirmative as “Yep – definitely,” I’ll take it. A universal inbox is easily the most obvious missing feature of Mail on the iPhone. While that might be the most satisfying response from Steve Jobs of late, it’s hardly the only one.

A couple of days ago, 9to5Mac posted a response from an individual asking about Apple supporting Google’s Picassa library format. Not surprisingly, the response was negative, nor was it surprising that Jobs wrote Apple had a better alternative, saying “iPhoto on the Mac has much better Faces and Places features.”

There’s really no Magic 8-Ball equivalent to that, but a day later a MacRumors reader allegedly was told in response to the interminable wait for new Mac Pros “not to worry.” The common “Yes” response was given by another TUAW reader asking if it would be possible transfer Google Docs to an iPad through iWork.com, a response supposedly sent from Jobs’ iPad.

From AppleInsider, also sent from Jobs’ iPad and about iPads, was the response to a question about where the iPad will be sold, that being ‘initially at Apple Retail and online stores and Best Buy.” One has to wonder how AT&T, which sells the iPhone and will be providing a data plan for the iPads, feels about that email.

Assuming these responses are not fakes, those hoping to become one of the chosen ones should probably consider their questions carefully. It’s probably a good idea to ask a question that’s interesting, not to Apple customers, but to Steve Jobs, and one that he can answer in a way that satisfies him. Asking why the iPhone is chained to a second-rate carrier like AT&T, or why there is no to-do option for Calendar on the iPhone like iCal has on my Mac will probably not be responded to. At least not so far. Like the Magic 8-Ball, the best questions are short and binary, “yes” or “no” replies.

So, what question are you thinking of asking Steve?

Related GigaOM Pro Research: Forecast: Tablet App Sales To Hit $8B by 2015

  1. There’s nothing magic about an old bald guy sending rendom emails to strangers.

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    1. Obviously you know nothing about magic 8-balls.

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  2. ‘Old bald guy?’ – ouch.

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  3. @Bob – Steve Jobs is NOT an old bald guy, he is literally my dad and for gosh sakes HES A CANCER SURVIVOR.

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    1. Are you his son? Literally? Please do tell!

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  4. “he is literally my dad”. Please explain what you mean by this. Clearly the plain language of the text is not true. Also I can’t find any ironic meaning in it. I’m puzzled.

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  5. Jason Terhorst Tuesday, March 23, 2010

    It makes sense that he’d reply to messages – when you’re in development stages, you need to really be exploring your product and make sure you’ve gotten all of the frustration points out of it. He also would want to read emails here and there, to make sure he has his finger on the pulse of the community, and doesn’t get out of touch with how users are thinking and working.

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  6. [...] Steve Jobs, the Magic 8-Ball, Replies to E-mail [...]

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  7. Assuming these responses are not fakes, those hoping to become one of the chosen ones should probably consider their questions carefully. It’s probably a good idea to ask a question that’s interesting, not to Apple customers, but to Steve Jobs
    accurate article
    thanks

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  8. I am fascinated by most things Jobsian, and I appreciate the fact that Steve Jobs reads and responds to some of his email from Apple customers.

    It suggests to me that there is complete vertical integration in the company of customer service and a desire to understand and meet the needs of consumers.

    Apple’s story and Steve Jobs’ story are among the great examples of combined entrepreneurial and technical genius and success in our national history–and may yet pave the way for better understanding between all citizens of the world.
    Walter Wright

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  9. why, oh why, do i not have any questions?

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  10. [...] Steve Jobs, the Magic 8-Ball, Replies to Email [...]

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  11. [...] Steve Jobs, the Magic 8-Ball, Replies to Email [...]

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  12. I haven’t words. But it was interesting to read.

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  13. “It’s probably a good idea to ask a question that’s interesting, not to Apple customers, but to Steve Jobs, and one that he can answer in a way that satisfies him.”

    - is wrong . . .

    steve jobs might not be using google docs, so why should it be interesting for him to answer that question? it’s interesting for the user that asked and others that think of the same question.

    i admire steve jobs, but i don’t kneel . . .

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  14. Mr. Jobs, you are the MAN.

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  15. Hi Steve, I have a patent for communications through legal zoom and would like to talk to you before I go to a phone company like Verizon.

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  16. [...] 2010, 10:11am MDT No Comments      0 In a distinct break from terse messages sent from his iPad, Steve Jobs has posted a 1,700 word missive on his Apple’s website. Broken into six sections, [...]

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  17. [...] a distinct break from terse messages sent from his iPad, Steve Jobs has posted a 1,700 word missive on his Apple’s website. Broken into six sections, [...]

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  18. [...] a distinct break from terse messages sent from his iPad, Steve Jobs has posted a 1,700 word missive on his Apple’s website. Broken into six sections, [...]

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