10 Things Steve Jobs' E-Mails Tell Us About Apple's Strategy

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-05-18 Print this article Print

News Analysis: Steve Jobs has been an e-mailing machine as of late. These e-mails reveal at least a little bit about what he is thinking about Apple and its products and the company's future.

CEO Steve Jobs has been awfully active with his e-mail account lately. The king of Apple lovers has been responding to customer and journalist responses in droves on a wide array of topics, ranging from the iPad to iPhone OS updates to MacBooks.

These e-mails reveal several themes that highlight what Jobs plans to do with his company going forward. Although the Apple CEO is careful with his words and in many cases gave little more than one- or two-word answers, he gave hints that we can't overlook.

Here are some of the things that Jobs' e-mails have, wittingly or not, brought to light about Apple's future plans.

1. Apple's future is with iPhone OS

 Jobs has made it abundantly clear in all the e-mails he sent to consumers that his company's strategy will revolve around iPhone OS for the foreseeable future. It makes sense. Apple's iPhone is arguably the most important product it sells right now. And thanks to the iPad, which also runs iPhone OS, the company now has another wildly popular product to bolster its support for the software. Look for iPhone OS to be central to Apple's strategy going forward.

2. Apple wants outright control over its App Store

In a recent e-mail exchange, Jobs indicated that his company knows what's best for its App Store. He told the e-mail's recipient that the App Store will be a place that's free from "porn," which he defines as "programs that steal your personal data," and much more. It was an interesting exchange that effectively highlighted Apple's desire to closely control the apps that make its way to its store. It was also a shot over the bow at those developers who want to bring potentially questionable apps to the store.

3. Flash will never come to iPhone OS

Jobs has made it clear that even the thought of bringing Flash to the iPhone or iPad makes him sick. He recently told one consumer that Apple is trying "to do the right thing" for consumers by protecting them and their investments. It was a thinly veiled jab at Flash. But it also highlighted just how fed up the Apple CEO really is with the Web standard. He said that developers have a choice to stick with Adobe or adhere with Apple's standards. Many are choosing Apple-and that's just the way Jobs likes it.

4. Jobs has an ego that dictates strategy

A quick glimpse through all the e-mails Jobs sends to consumers reveals something that has been written about numerous times both in Web articles and in books: Steve Jobs has an ego. For some, that ego has turned them off to Jobs and what he stands for. But it's that ego that helped make Apple what it is today. In every message, he has made it clear that he stands by his contentious decisions and will not waver.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.

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