Forget WWDC for a moment, because Steve Jobs is set to appear onstage at the D8 conference tomorrow night for an interview with Kara Swisher of All Things D. At previous All Things Digital conferences attended by Jobs, Apple’s stalwart leader talked openly about almost anything asked by Walt Mossberg, who curiously won’t be part of the interview this time around.
Jobs last appeared at an All Things D conference back in 2007 when he graced the stage with Bill Gates. Since then, Apple’s iPhone has taken the world by storm and the Cupertino company has seen both its marketshare and stock price soar to unprecedented levels. Toss in the iPad, the ever morphing smartphone market, Jobs’ health scare, the Flash controversy, and it’s clear that there should be no shortage of topics to discuss.
Hinting at what type of questions may be on the agenda, Swisher writes:
There is much to talk to Jobs about, obviously, including the new iPad, the mobile market and the iPhone, its tense relationship with Google and the next innovations from the Silicon Valley computer icon.
While you won’t see Jobs yapping about upcoming products, it’s always enlightening to hear Jobs’ take on technology, its past, its future, and the social and political influences that drive it. And though Jobs obviously won’t comment on Apple’s product roadmap, his answers can sometimes tip Apple’s hand in a small way, if you pay close attention.
At the 2004 All Things D conference, Jobs told Walt Mossberg that he was just as proud of the products Apple releases as he is of the products it doesn’t. When pressed for a specific example, Jobs answered that he was referring to a PDA.
Expanding further, Jobs said that Apple was hesitant to release a PDA because it would essentially mean releasing a phone.
We got enormous pressure to bring back the Newton or do a PDA. We’ve looked at it and we said ‘wait a minute, 90 percent of the people you see just want to get information out of them, they don’t necessarily want to put information into them on a regular basis – and cellphones are gonna do that. Getting into the PDA market means getting into the cellphone market.
And a few years later, that’s exactly what Apple did.