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Transcript Of Steve Jobs' CNBC Interview

Transcript Of Steve Jobs' CNBC Interview

by , 10:40 AM EDT, April 19th, 2001

Last night, Steve Jobs was interviewed by CNBC on Business Center. As we reported yesterday, CNBC had been playing mysteriously coy with who their mystery guest would be, but it turned out to be Steve Jobs after all. Mr. Jobs appeared on Business Center to discuss Apple's quarterly results following the company's conference call. We would like to thank Observer Justin for his help in providing this transcript. Note that we have removed some of the "Uh's' and "Um's" that occur in natural speech and look awkward in print.

CNBC: And apple computer CEO Steve Jobs joins us now to talk more about his company's earnings. Mr. Jobs it's nice to have you here. Welcome.

Steve Jobs (SJ): Thank you.

CNBC: OK, you obviously had a good quarter. Was it simply product development and new products in the pipeline that did it or was it something in addition to that?

SJ: Well, I think that a lot of it was some incredible innovative new products that we introduced during the quarter. We introduced the new PowerBook Titanium G4 (holds one up but it's obscured by the lower CNBC tickers). You know the coolest portable in the world. And we couldn't keep them on the shelves all quarter long. We shipped about 115k of them. We also shipped Mac OS X on time on march 24th. And we've gotten great reviews on that, we've had a fantastic start on that. We shipped a software product called iTunes, which is the best music jukebox in the world, it lets you burn CDs and things on your Mac. We had about 2 million downloads of that and I think that that drove a lot of sales of our iMacs with CD-RW drives in them. And lastly we introduced two really revolutionary products, one called iDVD, a piece of software, and the other called SuperDrive, which lets you write DVDs that you can play in consumer DVD players. So now you can actually now make your own DVDs on our PowerMacs and play them on ordinary DVD players.

CNBC: I was talking to Walter Winnitzky who is a Wall street analyst and he says you've certainly had an impressive quarter and you've had a lot of product development. He questions where the next area of product growth is going to be.

SJ: Well we're not through yet. We've got some wonderful things new coming during the year but I can't talk about them right now. One of the things that I also can say is that I think our operational excellence was good this quarter. Not only did we, I think we beat our goals in terms of revenue and products, but at the same time brought down our channel inventory to about 100,000 units or 4 weeks, which is very good.

CNBC: You know today we heard Karlie Kearaney of Hewlett Packard, saying that she thinks that their second quarter will be the bottom in the terms of the lack of demand and that things will look up from that point. Can you say the same thing based on what you've seen in your industry. Have we seen or are we near the bottom?

SJ: It's a hard one to call...(cuts himself off)

CNBC: Look into your crystal ball.

SJ: [Laughs] Well my crystal ball is a pretty foggy in that regard. We're prepared to play the economic hand we're dealt, but I think it's pretty foggy looking ahead. It's pretty hard to predict.

CNBC: Is the visibility any better now than it was a quarter ago?

SJ: You know we've got some strong new products that we can't even keep up demand on, so I think that we have some visibility as to demand, but I don't think it goes out that far right now. Anyone who says differently may have a better crystal ball than ours.

CNBC: Now the stock has gone up sharply in after hours because you did surprise the street with the results that you released today, and the stock has really differentiated itself from that of, say, Cisco. Cisco has warned, has had layoffs. Will Apple computers be able to maintain its path without some of the measures that Cisco has taken in the past, like layoffs?

SJ: You know Cisco is a very good company and I'm sure that they're working their way through this. We had a very, very tough quarter in December. That's when we realized that things were slowing down and we decided to take our medicine right then and there and we had a quarter that was not a good quarter. Now that we have some strong new products, hopefully things will go well. But again, certainly our crystal ball is pretty foggy right now about the global economy.

CNBC: Alright, Steve please feel free to come on Business Center first and tell us all about those new products?

SJ: OK thank you, you know...(cuts himself off)

CNBC: (Incomprehensible blurb)

SJ: Thanks a lot.

CNBC: Thank you.

The Mac Observer Spin:

Not a lot that is necessarily new in this interview. CNBC really wanted to pin Mr. Jobs down on the outlook for the rest of the year, but he successfully deflected all of those questions. He also played coy with the new product question. No surprises on that front, but we noted from his body English (not detectable in a transcript, of course) that there may be something coming sooner, rather than later. That's a subjective call on our part, but time will tell.

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