Steve Jobs speaks out

In an exclusive interview, Apple's CEO talked with Fortune senior editor Betsy Morris in February in Kona, Hawaii, where he was vacationing with his family, about the keys to the company's success, the prospect of Apple without Jobs, and more. Here are excerpts.

On catching tech's next wave
On catching tech's next wave
"Things happen fairly slowly, you know. They do. These waves of technology, you can see them way before they happen, and you just have to choose wisely which ones you're going to surf. If you choose unwisely, then you can waste a lot of energy, but if you choose wisely it actually unfolds fairly slowly. It takes years.

"One of our biggest insights [years ago] was that we didn't want to get into any business where we didn't own or control the primary technology because you'll get your head handed to you.

"We realized that almost all - maybe all - of future consumer electronics, the primary technology was going to be software. And we were pretty good at software. We could do the operating system software. We could write applications on the Mac or even PC, like iTunes. We could write the software in the device, like you might put in an iPod or an iPhone or something. And we could write the back-end software that runs on a cloud, like iTunes.

"So we could write all these different kinds of software and make it work seamlessly. And you ask yourself, What other companies can do that? It's a pretty short list. The reason that we were very excited about the phone, beyond that fact that we all hated our phones, was that we didn't see anyone else who could make that kind of contribution. None of the handset manufacturers really are strong in software."

Last updated March 07 2008: 7:10 PM ET

iPhone's birth

Connecting

No consultants

What drives employees

Apple without Jobs?

Focus

Managing style

The OS

Monday meetings

Roadblocks

iPods

Apple store

Tech's next wave

Apple TV

Downturn
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