Eight years ago today, Steve Jobs passed away from pancreatic cancer at the age of 56, one day after somewhat subdued Apple executives introduced the iPhone 4s at a media event on the company's Infinite Loop headquarters campus.
As he traditionally does, Apple CEO Tim Cook today marked the anniversary of Jobs' death with a tweet, sharing a Jobs quote and a photo of him at the iconic cube at Apple's Fifth Avenue retail store in New York City.
Apple continues to maintain its "Remembering Steve" page highlighting a few of the over one million submissions from people around the world who "shared their memories, thoughts, and feelings about Steve."
Disney CEO and former Apple board member Bob Iger has a new book coming out later this month, and ahead of its release, Vanity Fair has shared some key excerpts about Steve Jobs, who was Iger's close friend.
When Iger first took over as CEO of Disney, the relationship between the two companies was strained due to Jobs' disagreements with Michael Eisner and the end of a deal that had seen Disney releasing Pixar films.
Steve Jobs and Bob Iger. Image credit: Paul Sakuma/A.P. Photo
Iger broke the ice with Jobs and rekindled a relationship by praising the iPod and discussing iTunes as a television platform.
I'd been thinking about the future of television, and believed it was only a matter of time before we would be accessing TV shows and movies on our computers. I didn't know how fast mobile technology was going to evolve (the iPhone was still two years away), so what I was imagining was an iTunes platform for television, "iTV," as I described it. Steve was silent for a while, and then finally said, "I'm going to come back to you on this. I'm working on something I want to show you."
Jobs went on to tell Iger about the video iPod, and asked Iger to put Disney TV shows on it, which Iger agreed to, leading to a solid friendship between the two and ultimately, a new Disney/Pixar deal.
According to Iger, in 2006 just ahead of when Disney was set to announce its acquisition of Pixar, Jobs told Iger that his cancer had returned and spread to his liver, giving Iger time to back out of the deal.
He told me the cancer was now in his liver and he talked about the odds of beating it. He was going to do whatever it took to be at his son Reed's high school graduation, he said. When he told me that was four years away, I felt devastated. It was impossible to be having these two conversations--about Steve facing his impending death and about the deal we were supposed to be closing in minutes--at the same time.
After the acquisition, Jobs underwent cancer treatment and served on Disney's board as Disney's largest shareholder. He weighed in on important Disney decisions like the acquisition of Marvel, and even vacationed with Iger on occasion. "Our connection was much more than a business relationship," wrote Iger.
Iger says that with each Disney success, there's always a moment where he wishes Jobs was there, and further, he believes that if Jobs were still alive, the two companies may have merged.
With every success the company has had since Steve's death, there's always a moment in the midst of my excitement when I think, I wish Steve could be here for this. It's impossible not to have the conversation with him in my head that I wish I could be having in real life. More than that, I believe that if Steve were still alive, we would have combined our companies, or at least discussed the possibility very seriously.
"The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company" is set to be released on September 23, 2019. It can be pre-ordered from Amazon for $19.60.
The full excerpt, which has a lot more on the history of the deal between Disney and Pixar, can be read over at Vanity Fair.
A rare Pixar Animation Studios poster featuring "Toy Story" characters Buzz Lightyear and Woody that was signed by former Apple CEO Steve Jobs is set to be auctioned off later this week.
Jobs is said to have signed the poster sometime after 1995 when "Toy Story" debuted. The movie was Pixar's first feature length film and it was overwhelmingly successful, securing Pixar as a major animated film studio.
Poster with extra magnification of the signature at the bottom
Steve Jobs was a majority shareholder in Pixar and he was credited as an executive producer in "Toy Story." Following Pixar's acquisition by Disney, Jobs also served as a member of Disney's board of directors as the company's largest individual shareholder.
The poster measures in at 24 inches by 36 inches and is signed by Jobs at the bottom near the Pixar logo.
The bidding on the poster will start at $25,000, and it comes with a letter of authenticity. The auction will kick off on August 29.
Upon returning to Apple in the late 1990s, Steve Jobs came up with a 2×2 product grid in an effort to simplify Apple's then-bloated lineup of computers. The grid was split into four quadrants, including a professional desktop, a consumer desktop, a professional portable, and a consumer portable.
Today marks the 20th anniversary of Jobs unveiling the fourth and final product in the grid, the iBook, at the 1999 Macworld Expo in New York City.
Targeted at consumers and students, the iBook easily stood out from other notebooks of its era with its unique clamshell-like design, consisting of hard, translucent plastic casing topped with soft, colorful rubber. Initial colors included Blueberry and Tangerine, with later models available in Graphite, Indigo, and Key Lime.
The original iBook, priced from $1,599, was equipped with a 12.1-inch display with an 800×600 resolution, a full-sized keyboard, and a trackpad. It also featured a retractable handle along its hinge, with Apple calling it an "iMac to go," although it was decently heavy at 6.7 pounds — even for its time.
Above all, the iBook was the first mass consumer product with support for wireless networking, with the 802.11b standard allowing for speeds up to 11 Mbps. Wireless support was not built in and required purchasing an optional $99 AirPort wireless card and a $299 AirPort base station.
Jobs demonstrated the iBook's wireless networking by walking across the stage with the notebook while loading a website, with the audience erupting in cheers. He then placed it through a hula hoop to prove there were no cables attached.
Memorably, a younger Phil Schiller even jumped from a height while holding the iBook as it wirelessly transferred accelerometer data. Referencing the 30th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing, Schiller quipped "this is definitely one small step for man, and one giant leap for wireless networking."
Other tech specs included a 300MHz PowerPC G3 processor, 3.2GB hard drive, 32MB of RAM, ATI Rage Mobility graphics, 10/100 Ethernet, a CD-ROM drive, and up to six hours of battery life. To keep costs down, it had no FireWire port, video out, or microphone, and only one speaker and one USB port.
Apple went on to introduce a redesigned iBook with a more traditional notebook design in May 2001, followed by the white polycarbonate MacBook in 2006, but the original will always be an important part of Apple's history.
Last year, YouTubers iJustine and MKBHD teamed up to unbox an original, sealed iBook:
"Steve Jobs" biographer Walter Isaacson was on Squawk Box this week, and in an interview he mentioned that he "softened" parts of the book when it came to certain Jobs quotes (via CNBC).
Particularly, Jobs was said to have criticized current Apple CEO Tim Cook for not being a "product person." According to Isaacson, "Steve says how Tim Cook can do everything, and then he looked at me and said, 'Tim's not a product person.'"
Isaacson said that he wanted to soften certain things that he thought were too harsh in his biography of Steve Jobs. The book first launched in October 2011, just 19 days after Jobs died from pancreatic cancer.
“Sometimes when Steve was in pain ... and he was angry, he would say more things that [Cook] was not a product person,” recalled Isaacson. “I felt I would put in the specific things that were relevant to the reader but not the complaints.”
Cook was also mentioned in a recent piece by The Wall Street Journal, which focused on Jony Ive, who reportedly became "dispirited" because of Cook's lack of interest in the product development process. Ive announced that he will leave Apple later this year and start his own design studio, with Apple as one of its primary clients.
Isaacson has been critical of Apple as a whole in the past, believing in 2014 that Amazon and Google had overtaken Apple to become the most innovative technology companies of the modern day. At the time, he specifically referenced virtual assistants as a space where Apple needed improvement.
Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs went on to be the basis for Aaron Sorkin's screenplay of the Danny Boyle-directed film "Steve Jobs." The film was well received by critics, earning four Golden Globe Award nominations and two Academy Award nominations.
Former Apple CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs was born on February 24, 1955 and if he were still alive, today would mark his 64th birthday.
Jobs not only founded Apple alongside Steve Wozniak in 1976 and directed the development of some of the first personal computers, but he also brought Apple back from the brink of failure even after being ousted from the company he created.
In the 2000-2010s, Jobs was responsible for not only saving Apple, but then building it into one of the largest companies in the world. The introduction of the iPod in 2001 and iPhone in 2007 represented industry changing products that have sold hundreds of millions of units.
Steve Jobs passed away on October 5th, 2011 at the age of 56. Jobs had been suffering with complications related to pancreatic cancer in the years leading up to his death. Jobs has obviously affected the world with his contributions to Apple, and his death impacted us all. The article of his passing cites many reactions and photos from around the world.
Coincidentally, MacRumors shares the same birthday as Steve Jobs and was created on February 24, 2000. Today, the site turns 19 years sold, and we are grateful for our dedicated readers, community members, and volunteers.
Today marks the 35th anniversary of Apple's late co-founder Steve Jobs unveiling the original Macintosh.
Jobs pulled the Macintosh out of a bag during Apple's annual shareholders meeting on January 24, 1984 at the Flint Center in Cupertino, California, grinning from ear to ear as the crowd erupted in applause.
Macintosh's very first words:
Hello, I'm Macintosh. It sure is great to get out of that bag.
Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking, I'd like to share with you a maxim I thought of the first time I met an IBM mainframe: NEVER TRUST A COMPUTER YOU CAN'T LIFT!
Obviously, I can talk, but right now I'd like to sit back and listen. So, it is with considerable pride that I introduce a man who's been like a father to me… STEVE JOBS.
Two days earlier, Apple teased the Macintosh's introduction with its iconic "1984" ad during Super Bowl XVIII on CBS:
And here's a lesser-known video of Jobs introducing the Macintosh to the Boston Computer Society on January 30, 1984:
The New York Times today printed an interesting article exploring how Apple co-founder Steve Jobs set up a Macintosh manufacturing plant in Fremont, California in the 1980s that failed early on into its tenure.
Titled "When Apple Was Homegrown," the piece by John Markoff offers an insight into Jobs' fascination with Henry Ford's mass automobile manufacturing in Detroit and the high-quality manufacturing capabilities of Japanese companies like Sony, and how Jobs aimed to synthesize the two cultures in a "highly automated" Mac factory.
Apple's ill-fated California Macintosh facility (Credit: Terrence McCarthy for NYT)
"Steve had deep convictions about Japanese manufacturing processes," recalled Randy Battat, who joined Apple as a young electrical engineer and oversaw the introduction of some of the company's early portable computers. "The Japanese were heralded as wizards of manufacturing. The idea was to create a factory with just-in-time delivery of zero-defect parts. It wasn't great for business."
Construction of the plant, located just across San Francisco Bay from Apple's headquarters, began in 1983. The first reporters to tour it were told that factory labor would account for 2 percent of the cost of making a Macintosh, thanks to its state-of-the-art production line. Expectations were therefore high, but the practical realities of working at the plant were markedly different.
Mr. Gassée, a French specialist in office automation, had just been promoted to president of Apple’s product division by John Sculley, then Apple's chief executive, and was responsible for the company's engineering and manufacturing work. When he first started, Mr. Gassée decided to spend two days learning how the company actually built its products by working on a factory production line.
"I embarrassed myself attaching a display to the computer bezel with a screwdriver," Mr. Gassée recalled in a recent interview. At the end of his shift, Mr. Gassée grabbed a broom and swept up the parts that had fallen off the production line. "It was really shameful," he said of the noticeably slipshod process.
Lacking the requisite schooling and subcontractors, Apple's Macintosh manufacturing in California was unable to reach the production volume that Jobs had envisioned. Eight years later, the plant was shuttered.
Jobs made a second attempt to establish a manufacturing culture in Silicon Valley shortly after leaving Apple. In 1990 he oversaw another $10 million plant to build his Next personal workstation. The facility featured robotic devices, but it too was unable to produce in quantities that would support a long-term assembly operation, and it failed just like its Apple predecessor.
Jobs' thinking on manufacturing had changed by the time he returned to Apple in 1997, and the next year he hired veteran supply chain overseer Tim Cook as Apple's senior VP for worldwide operations. Apple's manufacturing outsourcing quickly expanded to form a sprawling ecosystem of global suppliers.
"When I started my career, all my flights were to Japan," said Tony Fadell, one of the hardware designers of the iPod and iPhone at Apple. "Then all my flights went Korea, then Taiwan, then China."
In recent years under Cook's watch as CEO, Apple's complex web of global suppliers has boomed in response to the demand of making products like the iPhone for mass markets. "You can't bring manufacturing back because of those webs," said Andrew Hargadon, a former Apple product designer who worked on the Macintosh Powerbook Duo in the early 1990s. "You would have to bring the entire community back," he told Markoff.
Recently, Apple announced plans to build a new $1 billion campus in Austin, Texas, as well as plans for a general expansion of operations over the next three years in cities across the United States. The plans are expected to create thousands more jobs, although the large majority of them aren't thought to be in manufacturing. Apple says it is on track to create 20,000 jobs in the U.S. by 2023.
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Earlier this month, we told you about an auction for a Steve Jobs business card listing him as Chairman of the Board at Apple Computer. The business card features Apple's classic rainbow logo and an address of 20525 Mariani Avenue, across the street from Apple's Infinite Loop campus in Cupertino, California.
Boston-based RR Auction has since announced that the business card, estimated to fetch a modest $500, was sold for a considerably larger sum of $6,259 this week. For that price, one might think it was signed by Jobs, but it was not.
During the same auction, a copy of the February 1984 premiere issue of Macworld magazine signed by Jobs sold for $47,775, easily topping its $10,000 estimate. Limited copies of the issue are still in circulation, and Jobs was typically reluctant to provide his autograph, making it even more of a collectible.
Jobs signed the magazine at the grand opening of Apple's iconic Fifth Avenue store in New York in May 2006, writing "to Matt, steven jobs" on the front cover, which features a photo of himself next to a trio of original Macintosh computers.
A copy of the February 1984 premiere issue of Macworld magazine signed by Apple's late co-founder Steve Jobs will be up for auction on the RR Auction website between December 6 and December 13.
Jobs signed the magazine at the grand opening of Apple's iconic Fifth Avenue store in New York on May 19, 2006, writing "to Matt, steven jobs" on the front cover, which features a photo of Jobs posing with a trio of original Macintosh computers. The magazine is listed in fine condition with light handling and edge wear.
The premiere issue of Macworld magazine is considered to be scarce and desirable in its own right, while Jobs was often reluctant to provide his autograph, so this is a rare collectible estimated to fetch at least $10,000 at auction.
There is both photo and video proof of Jobs signing the magazine, along with letters of authenticity from verification services Beckett and PSA/DNA.
Also up for auction at RR Auction beginning tomorrow is a Steve Jobs business card listing him as Chairman of the Board at Apple Computer. The business card features Apple's classic rainbow logo and an address of 20525 Mariani Avenue, across the street from its Infinite Loop campus in Cupertino, California.
The business card is not signed by Jobs, but it is still a nice collectible and is estimated to fetch at least $500 at auction.