SAN JOSE, Calif. — A year before he passed away, Steve Jobs sent an email to the Apple executive team outlining in bullet points priorities for their annual strategy planning meeting. Samsung submitted the email as evidence in defense of charges it infringes five Apple patents.
Access to such private communications and other company confidential documents are among the most fascinating by-products of cases such as Apple v Samsung. Overall this email -- the full text of which is on a following page -- shows Jobs kept his finger on the pulse of all aspects of Apple's business down to fine details such as the following:
- iPad 2
- new ID, H4, UMTS + Verizon in one model, cameras, ...
- EVT units & cases
- HDMI dongle (use for projection of demos below?)
The email also shows Jobs's focus on high-level strategy and technology issues such as rising competition from Google and the cloud. His email specifically called out to Apple top execs:
- 2011: Holy War with Google
- all the ways we will compete with them
- primary reason for this Top 100 meeting -- you will hear about what we're doing in each presentation
Later he wrote:
- Apple is in danger of hanging on to old paradigm too long (innovator's dilemma)
- Google and Microsoft are further along on the technology, but haven't quite figured it out yet
And later again he wrote:
5. iOS -- Scott, Joz
- Strategy: catch up to Android where we are behind (notifications, tethering, speech, ...) and leapfrog them (Siri, ...)
Samsung pointed to the lines above to suggest Apple tracked and followed technology advances from its rivals such as Google and Microsoft. It aims to convince jurors that Samsung's efforts comparing its phones to the iPhone are similar to what Apple did. For example Apple rolled out its iCloud offering to synch devices after seeing Google deliver similar capabilities.
As you read this email, many other technologists are pouring over it for new insights. For example, Trip Chowdhry, managing director of equity research at Global Equities Research, drew several conclusions from it. For example, in a research note Chowdhry concluded, "Apple has failed to deliver any new products, has lost market share to Google, is losing developers and employees to competition."
In addition he said, "Under Tim Cook, Apple has lost more than $150 billion of shareholder value in the last one and half year." He called for Apple to hire former executive Jon Rubinstein, now a board member at Amazon, as Apple's CEO. Rubinstein "is instrumental in driving Amazon.com's Lab126 innovations -- including the recently launched FireTV, upcoming Amazon's Touchless Smart Phone, and many other rumored innovative products," he wrote.
Thus the former Apple exec "can revive Apple and Apple's stock, and may be the right choice to be the new CEO of Apple," he added.
Next page: Steve Jobs's full email