Steve Jobs comments on Flash, Google, Microsoft and lost iPhone at D8

Steve Jobs spoke at the annual All Things Digital conference last night, where he was questioned about the lost iPhone prototype and the lack of Flash on the iPhone and iPad.

Jobs explained the facts of the lost iPhone prototype as best he could. "To make a wireless product work well you have to test it. One of our employees was carrying one, there's a debate as to whether it was left in a bar or stolen out of his bag. The person who ended up with the phone decided they would try and sell it to somebody so they called Engadget and Gizmodo," said Jobs. He confirmed that a room-mate of the individual who found the lost prototype called the police who started an investigation. "It's got theft, it's got buying stolen property, it's got extortion, I'm sure there is sex in there somewhere", he added to huge laughter and applause from the audience.

Jobs also said he had received a lot of advice from people telling him to simply let the Gizmodo story slide. Jobs wasn't happy to simply let it slide. "If we change our core values and start letting it slide. I can't do that, I'd rather quit," he said.

Jobs was also questioned on the debate over Flash on the iPhone and iPad. "Flash looks like a technology that had its day but is really waning. HTML5 looks like the technology that's really on the ascendency right now. We didn't start off to have a war with Flash or anything else we just made a technical decision that we weren't gonna put the energy into getting flash on our platform. We told Adobe if you ever have this thing running fast come back and show us, which they never did, but we think we're not gonna use it and that was it", said Jobs. He also said he was tired of Apple getting trashed in the press and decided to pen his "Thoughts on Flash" open letter.

Questioning moved onto Apple's relationship with Google and Microsoft. "They (Google) decided to compete with us, so they are. Right now, if you look at the smartphone market share Nokia is still number one, RIM is number two, we're number three, Google is number four and others number five. We definitely compete with each other, we have some Google properties on our phone. Just because we're competing with someone doesn't mean we have to be rude" when asked whether Apple will remove Google services from the iPhone. Jobs was also asked about his thoughts on Apple surpassing Microsoft's market cap last week, "for those of us that have been in the industry a long time it's surreal, but it doesn't matter very much." He also stated that Apple never saw itself in a platform war with Microsoft and "maybe that's why we lost".

Jobs said he was also "all for" anything to help out big publishers like the Wall Street Journal and New York Times. Jobs also said he is trying to push the publishers to drive down the cost of digital content and "go for volume" to make the digital versions profitable. "One of my beliefs very strongly is that any democracy depends on a free healthy press. I don't want to see us decend into a nation of bloggers myself. I think we need editorial more than ever right now."

Image Credit: Asa Mathat | All Things Digital

Steve Jobs on Adobe Flash:

Steve Jobs on lost iPhone prototype / Gizmodo:

Steve Jobs on Google and Android:

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