Steve Jobs

There will be plenty of time for analysis of what now happens at Apple and whether the company can retain is extraordinary leadership of the world of technology, but my first reaction to the resignation of Steve Jobs as its chief executive is sadness.

Mr Jobs, at the age of only 56, stands as one of the great business leaders – arguably the greatest – of the postwar era. For the past 30 years, he has not only led the wave of technological change emanating from Silicon Valley – the personal computer, the internet, the tablet – but stamped his aesthetic on the world.

 Read more

Every year, Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference turns into “Apple week”. The tech world holds its collective breath for the company’s latest list of announcements.

But this year had an extra twist: a spaceship spotted in Cupertino.

 Read more

Tech news from around the web:

  • Apple chief executive Steve Jobs has agreed to participate in a book about his life, ABC reports. Simon & Schuster announced on Sunday that Walter Isaacson’s “iSteve: The Book of Jobs” will be published in early 2012.

 Read more

David Gelles

Apple is returning to its favourite venue for product launches on March 2, hosting an event at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts where it is expected to unveil the iPad 2, according to people familiar with the plans.

The company has reserved the main stage at the multifunction venue for next Wednesday, marking a return to the site where it last year launched the original iPad and the iPhone 4Read more

Tech news from around the web:

  • Facebook has booked $1.86bn in worldwide advertising revenue for 2010 – an 86 per cent  increase over the estimated 2009 advertising revenue of $740m, according to Advertising Age. The majority of these bookings come from outside the US and from small and medium-sized companies.
  • Gizmodo claims it has a basic sketch of the next-generation iPad. New features include cameras on the front and back of the tablet, which points to a FaceTime facility; a high-resolution Retina display; and a slot for SD memory cards.

 Read more

Steve Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, told employees on Monday that the company has granted him a medical leave of absence but said that he would continue as chief executive and remain involved in major strategic decisions. Read more

Joseph Menn

Apple just called to invite the FT to a press conference “about iPhone 4″ to be held at its Cupertino headquarters on Friday morning at 10 a.m.

The company wouldn’t say anything else, but given the events of the past week, it’s hard to imagine that Apple would be having such a rare audience to announce, say, an upgrade to the FaceTime video calling feature.

No, in the present climate, “about the iPhone 4″ means that Apple finally has something more concrete to say about the reception issues that have been frustrating many buyers of Apple’s latest mobile phone. Read more

Joseph Menn

Apple’s decision in the past 24 hours to ban links from its customer-support discussion forums to a Consumer Reports post calling for Apple to fix the reception issues in the iPhone 4 predictably backfired today, leading to increased pressure on the company.

With the stock falling 2 per cent on an otherwise buoyant day for the sector, many tech observers and Wall Street analysts said dropped calls in areas of weak reception had been established as an antenna hardware issue and that the easiest solution was to offer the company’s $29 bumpers for free.

That would cost Apple about 1 per cent of its operating profit, estimated Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray. Read more

Joseph Menn

Apple CEO Steve Jobs said on Tuesday night that personal computers running rival Microsoft’s Windows operating system are in a permanent decline and that only a fraction of current users will still rely on them in the future.

In a rare onstage interview at the D: All Things Digital conference, Mr Jobs compared the fate of the PC to trucks in agrarian America. The dominant vehicle when farming was the way most people earned a living, they were vastly outnumbered by cars when the country became more urbanised. Read more

David Gelles

To the critics, fanboys and sceptics who have been waiting for Apple iPad for months, today’s first impressions ranged from elation to exasperation.

Writing at Slate.com, Farhad Manjoo said the iPad is the second computer he’s been looking for. “I wanted a flat, portable, easy-to-use machine that I could use for e-mail and reading the Web,” he writes. “The iPad is that device. Jobs described it as the perfect hybrid of a laptop and a phone, and I agree. Everything about it—its size, shape, weight, and fantastically intuitive user interface—feels just right.” Read more

Chris Nuttall

The Applesphere has been abuzz this morning about the possibility of Steve Jobs giving a keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January.

This emanates from a Wall Street Journal report of a dinner hosted by Gary Shapiro, Consumer Electronics Association president, in San Francisco on Tuesday night.

I was also at the dinner and have a transcript after the jump of the CEA president’s comments, which reveal Apple will have a big presence at CES, but only through third parties. Read more

  • A Tennessee hospital has confirmed it carried out a liver transplant on Steve Jobs, Apple chief executive.  The Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute in Memphis said Mr Jobs was “the sickest patient on the waiting list at the time a donor organ became available. Mr Jobs is now recovering well and has an excellent prognosis.”
  • Intel and Nokia unveiled plans to work together to create a type of mobile computing device beyond today’s smartphones and netbooks. The move takes Intel a step further towards a breakthrough into the highly prized mobile phone market. Nokia typically works with potential suppliers on joint research for several years before deciding to adopt a particular technology.

 Read more

David Gelles

With Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference just days away, the technology community is eagerly anticipating the company’s next product launch, and puzzling over the fate of its founder.

The FT’s Joseph Menn reports that Apple plans to introduce a cheaper version of the iPhone as soon as Monday, in a move that could dramatically increase the company’s share of the smartphone market. Apple declined to comment, but the company typically introduces major products at its developer conference, which begins on Monday.

Chief executive Steve Jobs, who has traditionally introduced new products during the conference’s keynote, is not expected to be in attendance. Read more

  • IBM chief executive Sam Palmisano told invited analysts and investors Wednesday that the tech powerhouse was still on track for 2009 earnings of $9.20 a share and that it intends to keep spending on acquisitions, developing-world markets and research through the downturn. He singled out risk analysis and other analytics as a major growth opportunity, saying it would be “as big as” enterprise resource planning software in five years.
  • Facing mounting pressure from law enforcement agencies around the country, Craigslist said it would remove the “erotic services” section of its massive classified advertising website. In its place will be a new “adult services” section, where ads will be vetted by a Craigslist employee before being posted.

 Read more

  • Cisco‘s open secret is a secret no more. After weeks of rumours speculating as much, the networking equipment powerhouse is entering the server market, posing a potential threat to IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Sun. Servers are lower-margin products, but analysts say Cisco will be able to charge more by offering bundled products.
  • Apple is unveiling new iPhone software on Tuesday. Watchers don’t expect multimedia text messaging, but other desired features, including copy and pasting and integrated contact books, seem likely. Don’t expect an appearance from Apple chief executive Steve Jobs, who remains on medical leave, or the debut of Apple’s rumoured 10-inch touchscreen tablet.

 Read more

  • Ahead of the launch of its highly anticipated Pre, Palm is seeking to raise extra cash through the resale of shares recently acquired by Elevation Partners. Palm, which has no more than $220m in cash on hand, badly needs the cushion, and will use some of the capital to help finance the launch of the Pre.
  • Livemocha, the social language-learning network we wrote about last year, has announced a partnership with education publisher Pearson (owner of the FT). The move should extend the reach of Pearson’s Longman languages teaching and strengthen Livemocha’s offering, which depends in large part on users helping each other with language learning.

 Read more

  • Microsoft filed a suit of its own, alleging that in-car navigation system maker Tom Tom is violating eight of its patents, including three relating to Tom Tom’s use of open-source operating system Linux. This is believed to be the first time Microsoft has filed suit over Linux, which it has repeatedly said violates its patents.

 Read more