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Apple chief executive Steve Jobs was questioned on-stage tonight at the D8 conference by reporters Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher. It’s one of Jobs’ few public appearances where he doesn’t completely control the format, and judging from AllThingsD’s liveblog, one of the big topics was Apple’s competition with Adobe and Google.
Jobs’ big message: Apple isn’t trying to wage a war on everyone. Instead, while the company focuses on building great products, everyone else is trying to start a fight with Apple.
On the Adobe front, there has been plenty of controversy over Apple’s decision to block Adobe’s Flash technology from working on its iPhone and iPad. Jobs said that wasn’t an attack on Adobe — it was just an attempt to make those devices great.
“We don’t think Flash makes a great product, so we’re leaving it out,” Jobs said. “Instead, we’re going to focus on technologies that are in ascendancy. If we succeed, people will buy them and if we don’t they won’t.”
That strategy has been working out so far for the iPad. Apple is selling “like three iPads a second,” he said.
As for why Jobs decided to write a long article criticizing Adobe, he said, “We’re not trying to have a fight with Adobe. They came after us … We were getting tired of being trashed by Adobe in the press.”
Jobs was also asked about Apple’s relationship with Google, which has gotten more competitive over the last year or so. He gave a similar response: “Well, they decided to compete with us and got more and more serious.” Apple won’t remove Google from the iPhone and iPad, and it’s not interested in building its own search product, he said.
When pressed on whether he felt betrayed by Google’s move into the mobile market with Android, Jobs basically refused to answer, instead saying, “My sex life is great.”
By the way, according to Jobs this “we don’t want to fight” attitude also held true in the past.
“We never saw ourselves in a platform war with Microsoft,” he said, adding, “Maybe that’s why we lost. But we never thought of ourselves in a platform war, we just wanted to make good products.”
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