During an interview conducted by the Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg at the All Things Digital Conference in Carlsbad, California, Apple CEO Steve Jobs discussed the status of Apple’s “three businesses and a hobby,” namely Macs, music, phones, and Apple TV. According to a transcript provided by Engadget, Jobs referred to Apple TV as a “hobby” based on the failure of any company to crack the in-home media player market—yet. In response, Mossberg noted that something new related to Apple TV will be shown today.
iPhone, iPod, and iTunes: Pressed by Mossberg for further information on new iPhone features or an update to the full-sized iPod, Jobs demurred, stating only that “[w]e’re working on the best iPods that we’ve ever worked on… and they’re awesome.” He did note, however, that Apple intends to put AT&T’s 3G network to use with “phones,” not specifically noting which future products would be 3G-capable. In response to a question from Mossberg regarding putting a miniature version of the iTunes Store on the iPhone for wireless downloading, Jobs said that “[w]e certainly have nothing to announce today.” He committed to allowing open third-party development of applications for iPhone once there is a way to guarantee the platform’s security.
Asked to estimate the number of copies of iTunes that are out there, and presented by Mossberg with the number “300 million,” Jobs replied “or more,” most on Windows computers, and noted that the scale of Apple’s successes has surprised him. “I never thought we’d ship 100 million iPods. No, never.”
Apple TV: On stage, Jobs demonstrated an Apple TV, discussing streaming and downloading of movie content from the Internet. He suggested that current movies were “pretty good quality,” and said that in the future, Apple might be selling high-definition videos as well. For now, however, Apple’s interested in pulling other content from the Internet, such as YouTube videos. The YouTube viewer will be available as a “free software upgrade available in a few weeks.”
Screenshots of the YouTube viewer depict “YouTube” as an option between “TV Shows” and “Music” from Apple TV’s main menu, with the choice of Featured, Most Viewed, Most Recent, and Top Rated videos via menu options, plus your History of viewed videos, and an on-screen Search feature, complete with an on-screen alphanumeric keyboard. Standard YouTube “related videos” appear as links when you’ve finished watching the original video you selected.