Q&A with Steve Jobs clarifies interesting product choices

Today's Apple event had some new, though not particularly breakthrough, products announced. The new version of iTunes, number 9, was released to the general public, in addition to the iPhone OS 3.1. In terms of hardware, there were a few new iPod releases, too.

As is customary with Apple events, there were a number of let downs, due to the fact that rumor sites thrive on the company, well known for its secrecy. This time around, it was expected that the iPod touch would be given a camera, as well as the iPod nano, to add to the storage boosts. Whilst the boosts became a reality, the camera never eventuated... why? The New York Times had a Q&A session with Apple's CEO, Steve Jobs, providing a bit of insight into why the company made the choices that it did for the event.

On the subject of the lack of camera in the touch, Jobs said, "Originally, we weren't exactly sure how to market the Touch. Was it an iPhone without the phone? Was it a pocket computer? What happened was, what customers told us was, they started to see it as a game machine. Because a lot of the games were free on the store. Customers started to tell us, 'You don't know what you've got here — it's a great game machine, with the multitouch screen, the accelerometer, and so on.' We started to market it that way, and it just took off. And now what we really see is it's the lowest-cost way to the App Store, and that's the big draw. So what we were focused on is just reducing the price to $199. We don't need to add new stuff — we need to get the price down where everyone can afford it."

In the product refreshes was the aforementioned video camera on the iPod nano, one which lacks the capacity to take still photographs. Many people wondered why this was, so Jobs cleared it up, saying, "The sensors for doing video are fairly thin. The sensors for doing a still camera, at much higher pixel resolution — and we'd really like to have autofocus — they are just way too thick to ever fit inside the Nano."

Lastly, the NY Times gave Jobs the question of whether or not the company will take a break from new products, due to his recent absence. He said that there were products being worked on when he left, and there are some that he's personally overseeing right now, helping them get polished up. Lastly, Jobs said, "We have some really good stuff coming up."

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