In a rare public appearance, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs at the AllThingsD D8 conference discussed some hot button topics including Apple's blocking of Adobe Flash on the iPhone and iPad, AT&T Mobility's (NYSE:T) 3G network issues and the reasoning behind the App Store's blocking of certain applications.
During a question-and-answer session with moderators Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher, Jobs defended his "Thoughts on Flash" essay, explaining that Apple was growing weary of getting "trashed" by Adobe in the media. He said Flash has had its day and that HTML5 is starting to emerge. He even compared Flash to a floppy disk, adding that Apple was the first to dump the floppy and later adopt the USB. He said the reason Apple has succeeded is because it has "bet on the right technological horse."
But Adobe isn't the only company Apple is battling against. Jobs said Google is definitely competing with Apple in the mobile space, but said Apple has no intention of pulling Google search functionality from its iPhone or iPad.
Jobs also defended iPhone carrier AT&T, noting the operator is doing a pretty good job in some ways and is improving capacity--but added he wished AT&T would improve faster. However, he said AT&T deals with more data traffic than any other operator, and added that if the iPhone was on any other wireless network it would have the same issues. He then praised AT&T for taking a risk with Apple and helping the company "change the rules of the game."
Finally, Jobs also addressed complaints from developers about the App Store's seemingly arbitrary approval process. Jobs explained that the iPhone OS is a curated platform, and the company approves around 95 percent of the apps submitted to the store every week. When questioned about Apple's rejection of an app from a Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist, he explained that the company had a policy to not allow apps that defame someone, though based on the flare-up he said the company decided that wasn't a good rule and has since revised it.
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