Apple CEO Steve Jobs Talks iPhone, iPad Development

Apple CEO Steve Jobs talked during the D8 Conference about how both the iPhone and iPad began their developmental life in a multitouch tablet prototype, but that the iPhone came first after Jobs realized that a touch screen could be leveraged for a phone. Jobs also used his talk with The Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg to defend Apple's App Store policy, as well as the company's decision to ban Adobe Flash from its mobile products. Since its April 3 release, the iPad has sold more than 2 million units.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs claimed during the D8 Conference that the iPhone, despite being released in 2007, had its origins in a rough prototype for the iPad, which reached the market in April.

"I had this idea about having a glass display, a multitouch display," Jobs told The Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg during the June 1 onstage session. "I asked our people about it. And six months later they came back with this amazing display. And I gave it to one of our really brilliant UI guys. He then got ... scrolling working and some other things, and I thought, -My god, we can build a phone with this.'"

That process eventually led to the iPhone-but the tablet idea, which would eventually find life as the iPad, was apparently shelved until Apple achieved success in the smartphone market.

A live blog of Jobs' speaking is available on the D8 Conference's Website, while video can be found here.

The proliferation of Apple's mobile devices has been mirrored by a growth in the number of third-party applications available through the company's App Store. Despite the App Store's popularity-or maybe because of it-Apple has been on the receiving end of criticism lately over its policing of certain apps for content.

"We are doing the best we can, changing the rules when it makes sense," Jobs said. "What happens sometimes is that some people lie, we find it, we reject it, and they run to the press, and get their 15 minutes of fame and hope it will get us to change our minds. We take it on the chin, and we move on."

Jobs also cast the iPad as a beneficial tool for newspapers and other periodicals: "I think we need editorial insight now more than ever. Anything we can do to help newspapers find new ways of expression that will help them get paid, I am all for."

Some 2 million iPads have been sold since the device's April 3 general release. Despite the popularity of both the tablet and the iPhone, though, Apple could face a potential federal antitrust investigation over the language of its iPhone developer agreement. Quoting unnamed sources, a May 3 article in the New York Post suggested that both the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice were debating whether to open such an investigation.

At issue is Apple's mobile applications' policy, which forbids the use of third-party development tools in the creation of apps for Apple's App Store. A clause in the developer agreement for the recently unveiled iPhone OS 4 stipulates that "applications may only use Documents APIs in the manner prescribed by Apple and must not use or call any private APIs" and "applications must be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine, and only code written in C, C++, and Objective-C may compile and directly link against the documented APIs."

That would theoretically exclude tools such as Adobe Flash CS5, which in turn could force developers to choose between building an application for Apple or for another smartphone ecosystem-something that federal investigators could potentially view as unfair competition.

During the D8 Conference, Jobs suggested that Apple's technology strategy, along with its decision to ban Adobe Flash from its ecosystem, was ultimately to customer benefit.

"We don't think Flash makes a great product, so we're leaving it out," he said. "Instead, we're going to focus on technologies that are in ascendancy. If we succeed, people will buy them."