Blog Post

“Customers Aren’t Stupid” – Jobs

Apple CEO Steve Jobs has dismissed mobile phone operators as serious competitors for the digital music market, at least until the change tactics. “Discussing mobile networks attempts to build music download services, Jobs is scathing on price, saying: “They’re going to try to sell music at $2 and $3 a song for the phone…It’s hard to imagine that customers are that stupid.” (This MacWorld article is apparently based on an AlwaysOn Transcript of the “All Things Digital” event, but I can’t find all the quotes they attribute to Jobs there.)
Jobs went on to criticize “what he expects will be a, “lousy buying experience”, and points out that despite all the new features mobile networks (who dominate discussions with manufacturers) demand in their handsets, customer spending is not rising significantly”. That’s true, but he seems to make the assumption that technology will stand still…
Jobs confirmed the long-awaited Motorola/Apple phone will not download songs over the mobile networks but rather import them from a PC, and claimed that — as with mobile video — mobile screens are too small to give a decent buying experience, so buying via a PC and transfering to a portable device is the best solution. The phone was described as “a hard problem”, mainly because Apple doesn’t like to deal with other people who also want to call the shots.
In the same way that people who predict the iPod’s demise make the mistake of thinking there will be no more innovation a lot of Jobs’ statements only apply to the present — innovation in the near future will make them redundant. At some point Apple will have to integrate its music service with mobile phones, and I’m sure they’re working on how to do this. There are several possibilities, including a special handset, licensing the software for mobiles, an MVNO, and putting mobile access into iPods. I don’t know which one Apple will eventually go with…(via Ringtonia)
Related stories:
Digital Music Is Going Mobile
Those Pesky Apple MVNO Rumors
iPod Not Going Away