Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs says he is unconcerned that iPod might lose its cache because its too popular. “That’s like saying you don’t want to kiss your lover’s lips because everyone has lips. It doesn’t make any sense,” he tells Newsweek’s Senior Editor Steven Levy in an interview now available exclusively online at Newsweek.com. “We don’t strive to appear cool. We just try to make the best products we can. And if they are cool, well, that’s great.” Jobs talked to Levy on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of Apple’s iPod, and cooperated with Levy’s upcoming book about the iPod, “The Perfect Thing,” excerpted in Newsweek’s October 23 issue (on newsstands Monday, October 16).
Jobs also says he is unimpressed with Zune, Microsoft’s answer to the iPod, which allows users to exchange songs. “It takes forever,” says Jobs. “By the time you’ve gone through all that, the girl’s got up and left!” Jobs adds that while the iPod and iTunes will evolve, music will always be the core. “It’s hard to imagine that music is not the epicenter of the iPod, for a long, long, long, long, long time … Music is so deep within all of us, but it’s easy to go for a day or a week or a month or a year without really listening to music. And the iPod has changed that for tens of millions of people, and that makes me really happy, because I think music is good for the soul.”
Jobs explains the decision to keep prices at the iTunes store at 99 cents a song despite pressure from the record labels to raise them. If iTunes gave into that pressure, says Jobs, “many [users] will say, ‘I knew it all along that the music companies were going to screw me, and now they’re screwing me.’ And they would never buy anything from iTunes again. We would never recover their trust.”