Second installment of the interview with Pedro Aznar, coordinator and editor of Applesfera In this case, he talks about the iPad, iTunes and foresees the future of Apple when Steve Jobs is no longer with the company. Do not miss it.
We continue with the second part of the interview with Pedro Aznar, coordinator and editor of Applesfera. In this issue we talk about the iPad, iTunes, the news presented in the last Keynote and the possible future plans of Apple thinking about the final departure of Jobs.
For a long time, Apple criticized and rejected the idea of netbooks and tablets. It quietly prepared the iPad, introduced it and was heavily criticized at first. Two months later it was on sale, breaking all expectations. What has been the key to success?
- [P.A.] I think the iPad was not understood when it was introduced. It was oriented to cover the needs of what already existed, but in reality it’s a product that covers others that we didn’t have at first. People, once they have had it in their hands and used it, have understood the enormous capacity and usefulness that such a product can have. The potential of the product is what has given it success, and that has required a period of adaptation on the part of the market, like any new range that goes on sale. At the time it was the same with computers, laptops, iPods and now the iPad.
Is the iPad a vitaminized iPod Touch, as many users claim?
- [P.A.] Of course it is, but that doesn’t diminish its importance: A device with that screen, weight and portability is something an iPod Touch can never be. More than a “vitaminized” iPod Touch, I prefer to see it as an evolution of the iPod Touch towards other uses and capabilities.
Does the iPad have any really serious competitors today?
- [P.A.] Absolutely not. There are very good proposals, but when they reach the market they fail miserably. Or products that after launching the iPad 2 have returned to the design table. That’s the problem I was talking about before: The competition is trying to jump on the bandwagon, instead of going their own way. Today, maybe the Galaxy Tab looks good, but Android apps for tablets are born very slowly and that’s a problem for a tablet that has to be up to date. Hopefully someone will fight in this field, as I say the competition is very good and healthy for everyone.
A lot is being said about the post-PC era as a consequence of the arrival of the iPad and other tablets. What is the truth of this statement? Do you think that in the future tablets will take over from PCs?
- [P.A.] I think Jobs’ opinion (I think so too) about the post-PC era is not that tablets will replace PCs, but that the use that is usually given to a computer will be distributed among other devices. For example, I can continue to have an iMac at home to design or program, but an iPad to navigate from the couch, a task that used to be done on the computer. Let’s say it’s no longer the center of everything, and we’re at the beginning of specialized devices for specific tasks.
Now referring to the arrival of Mac OS X Lion. Tell us what you think about this update.
- [P.A.] I think this is an important step: For the first time, everything learned in iOS will be used to translate it consistently into a desktop operating system. It may not be the great revolution that many people expect, but it is much more than some people think: It is the beginning of a feedback between systems due to the arrival of a new interface (the multi-touch screens).
iTunes is a store that offers a large catalogue of multimedia content, as well as taking care of updating our gadgets. Isn’t that a big burden for a single program?
- [P.A.] Yes, it is. I’m of the opinion that iTunes as such should be rethought in a new program, or maybe two. Today, iTunes is turning into something it wasn’t meant to be in the beginning, and that change of direction should suggest that perhaps what is needed is not to “redo” iTunes, but to think of something new.
Was the Mac App Store a success?
- [P.A.] Absolutely. Which means that, in order to take advantage of the moment of glory of the app stores, something like this was necessary on the Mac. Something that would drive and help developers enter the OS X market with the iOS experience. In fact, long before the Mac App Store appeared, I predicted in Applesfera how good it could be.
The cloud is a revolutionary concept and it was clear that, with MobileMe, Apple was taking steps backwards instead of forwards. iCloud is a strong bet to modernize in this area, with quality services and most importantly, free. Is it a project for the future? Will it work and be well accepted by customers?
- [P.A.] It’s still early to tell, but certainly as you say it’s the right direction. And it’s designed very much in the Apple style, everything is transparent, you don’t need to configure anything to start using iCloud applications. I think it was a good decision to switch to MobileMe for this.
iTunes Match is Apple’s cloud music bet. Tell me why I should use iTunes Match and not Spotify.
- [P.A.] I’m not gonna stop using Spotify for iTunes Match (laughs). They’re actually different concepts. Spotify is any music at any time, iTunes Match is your music at any time. I’d rather (personal opinion) have the chance to listen to a particular track I didn’t have anywhere, than wait to get home, sync my Mac with iTunes Match, etc.
In the field of iPods, we constantly see a decrease. Apple rules this market and it seems difficult to overcome it. In the latest fiscal results presented by the company in April, we see a lower profit compared to the same fiscal quarter of 2010. Even though the iPod Nano has been completely revamped and the concept of the Touch is revolutionary, Apple has not managed to surpass itself in this field. What do you think the company should do in the next iPod update to make users decide to switch to a new model?
- [P.A.] The iPod is a market that because of the current trend of smartphones, will tend to be diluted with them. We all already carry a music player in our mobile phones. People are now only looking for iPods with features that are not available on the cell phone, not just as an MP3 player as before. They look for small iPods, with large storage capacity, battery life… But the generic use has already been taken over by smarphones.
A must-ask question. Why is Mac better than Windows?
- [P.A.] Because it’s more useful, it does what I want to do the way I want to do it, the best way I can think of getting it done. It is not better in measurable terms, there is no “scale of better things”, they only differ in the usefulness that each one brings to the user. Personally, OS X brings me much more.
Let’s play at being fortune-tellers. Jobs’ health is very sensitive, and all of us on the block want him to stay in charge as long as possible, but… What happens the day he stops being the captain of the ship?
- [P.A.] The company has been preparing for that day for years. There won’t be a new Jobs, the control of the company will fall on a team of specialized people that Jobs has been training for years. But there won’t be a figure that personifies Apple’s value. It would be wrong, and unfair. Mind you, Apple has enough human potential to continue its work.
Will the company suffer a debacle? Will it influence its customers?
- [P.A.] These will be days of comparisons, no doubt, but I think the company is very clear about its future plans and Jobs’ guidelines for the coming years. There’s nothing random about Apple, and it’s clear that their customers understand and want that to be the case. There are bright years ahead, no doubt.
It will soon be one year since the first official Apple store opened in Spain. That day we could see you at La Maquinista, and you were one of the first to enter to visit it. How did you live that day? Is the arrival of the Apple Store in our country important?
- [P.A.] That day was something exciting and special for me, on a personal level. That same week I was invited for the first time to London to live a Keynote with Apple, and the colophon was the opening of the Apple Store. In addition, Apple allowed me to enter the store one hour before the opening and meet the head of the worldwide Stores of the company. There were many friends at the opening and it was a very important moment for Apple in Spain, at last… a moment that we Apple fans had been waiting for a long time: That they look to us for this means that we’re important to them.
Before we say goodbye, we would like you to send a message to your readers and those of Applesupportphonenumber.
- [P.A.] Well, thank you very much for counting on me for this interview. Applesupportphonenumber’s project is looking very good, and it’s wonderful to see how the blogosphere is growing in this country. We’re all in it for the fun of it, and of course, the more we are, the better off we’ll be.
[Primera Parte] Entrevista a Pedro Aznar, coordinador y editor de Applesfera
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And here concludes the interview. Thank you very much for your honesty, kindness and borrowed time. It has been a real pleasure to be able to interview the coordinator of a friendly website like Applesfera.
On a personal level, I was pleasantly surprised by Pedro’s closeness and absolute willingness to conduct the interview. In addition to knowing him a little more as a machine operator, we had the opportunity to discover the great person in him. From Applesupportphonenumber we wish him a successful and prosperous journey. See you soon and thanks, Pedro.
If you want, you can also follow Pedro Aznar on Twitter.