updated 07:35 pm EDT, Wed September 9, 2009
Jobs on Kindle, iPod nano camera, health
Apple chief Steve Jobs today took shots at Amazon while also explaining some of the decisions behind the new new iPods and his own health. The co-founder is famous for having attacked Amazon's Kindle in the past but has now said that the e-book reader's main flaw its specialized role: its cost is too high for a single function, Jobs said. He moreover suggested to the Times that Amazon's refusal to provide definite numbers for Kindle sales was a sign it hasn't succeeded in the market.
"I'm sure there will always be dedicated devices, and they may have a few advantages in doing just one thing," Jobs explained. "But I think the general-purpose devices will win the day because I think people just probably aren't willing to pay for a dedicated device. You notice Amazon never says how much they sell; usually if they sell a lot of something, you want to tell everybody."
He also noted that Amazon's primary business is in online retail, not handheld devices, and that the company likely isn't counting on strong sales.
Jobs continued by providing important color regarding the decision to ship the third-generation iPod touch without a camera. He revealed that the goal of reaching the $199 price point trumped adding some extra features and that Apple views the iPod touch as the "lowest-cost way to the App Store," making price even more important. The statements imply that a prototype iPod touch leaked last month is a sign the company changed its stance partway through development.
The iPod nano can only shoot video as a sharp-enough sensor for photos, including with autofocus, would reportedly be too big to fit into the design.
Wrapping up the discussion, Jobs said he now feels "great" after recovering from his liver transplant in the spring but that he still needs to gain weight to return to normal.
"I'm eating like crazy," he said. "A lot of ice cream."