Jobs and Cook disagreed over how to sell the iPhone – Axios

by | Sep 8, 2022 | Jobs

Apple’s past and current CEOs, Steve Jobs and Tim Cook, couldn’t agree on the best way to sell their most important product, the iPhone, Cook said at a Code Conference panel Wednesday. Jobs wanted to break with the then-norm in the cellphone industry by having the service providers — carriers like AT&T and Verizon — charge customers full price for the iPhone. Normally these carriers paid manufacturers like Apple a part of the device cost upfront, lowering the price for the customer, because they make their profits via longer-term monthly payments by their users. Jobs aimed to give up that subsidy in order to claim a share of the carrier’s monthly revenue, which Apple did for the first iPhone.Cook, by contrast, preferred the approach Apple eventually switched to: Have Apple take the up-front subsidy and forego the opportunity for a cut of a user’s monthly phone bill.It was a debate that lasted for many years, Cook noted, speaking on a panel at Code Conference on Jobs’ legacy, along with longtime designer Jony Ive and Jobs’ widow, Laurene Powell Jobs.Why it matters: The iPhone forever changed the phone business in many ways, reducing the role of carriers in deciding how phones looked and what apps they carried. But the iPhone’s growth really took off when the company switched to Cook’s …

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