Speaking to Walt Mossberg at yesterday's D: All Things Digital conference, Apple CEO Steve Jobs gave us some interesting tidbits of info regarding the iPhone. The OS is the full Mac OS X with a different user interface. Third-party apps? Maybe. QWERTY keyboards? A waste of valuable space. FMC? Sort of. 3G? Well, Wi-Fi is faster. Oh, and current music phones stink.Jobs was not shy about how excited he is about the iPhone. Steve said, "It's three things: the best iPod we've ever made. An incredibly great cellphone -- we've really revolutionized how to use a cellphone. If it was nothing but a cellphone it'd be really successful. Third thing is it's the Internet in your pocket for the first time. If it was any of those three it'd be successful. If it was just the Internet in your pocket it'd sell better than the Sony Mylo." He confirmed that it will be available in late June, and in volume and that both Apple and AT&T outlets will sell the device.
So, does it have Mac OS X or what? Yup. "The entire Mac OS is gigs, a lot is data. Take out the data -- every desktop pattern, sound sample -- if you look at Safari it's not that big. It's real Safari, real OS X. We put a different user interface on it to work with a multi-touch screen...it's an amazing amount of software." But most Mac OS X applications won't run on the iPhone. "We don't think that's a good idea. We don't have a mouse, we don't have pull-down menus...we have a very different user interface on the iPhone."
Third party apps are a work in progress. During the Q&A session, one guy asked about the possibility. Steve replied, "This is an important trade-off between security and openness. We want both. We're working through a way...we'll find a way to let 3rd parties write apps and still preserve security on the iPhone. But until we find that way we can't compromise the security of the phone. I've used 3rd party apps...the more you add, the more your phone crashes. No one's perfect, and we'd sure like our phone not to crash once a day. If you can just be a little more patient with us I think everyone can get what they want."
When prodded about why AT&T would break its traditional device model and pair with Apple, jobs said, "They did it for two reasons: first is because music on phones hasn't been successful so far, they wanted to do something good with music on phones. The second reason is more profound: they have spent and are spending a fortune to build these 3G networks, and so far there ain't a lot to do with them. People haven't voted with their pocketbooks to sign up for video on their phones. These phones aren't capable of taking advantage of it. You've used the internet on your phone, it's terrible! You get the baby Internet, or the mobile Internet -- people want the real Internet on their phone. We are going to deliver that. We're going to take advantage of some of these investments in bandwidth."
"Interesting thing, it automatically switches to WiiFi. If you choose to join a network it remembers that. But if you're in a place and you want to join a WiiFi network you haven't joined before it prompts you. But it's everywhere. There's like 10 times more Wi-Fi out there than I ever thought there was. Wi-Fi is faster than any 3G, and EDGE is very fast too."
And of course, Jobs had to take a stab at all the QWERTY devices on the market, "Once you actually use this magical display there's no going back. We actually think we have a better keyboard. It takes a few days of getting used to, but I bet you dinner that after a few days of using it you'll be convinced. It takes a week -- you have to learn how to trust it. When you learn how to trust it, you'll fly. And we can use that physical space for other things where you don't need a keyboard -- we can add new applications...it provides incredible flexibility and you don't take up half the space of this thing with a physical keyboard."
Lastly, he said that the battery life is good and there are no issues. Transcription of the interview was provided by Engadget. Thanks for your fast fingers, Ryan!