John Gruber, regarding the video of Steve Jobs in which he makes the case for not supporting Flash in iOS:
You can argue that Jobs said it better. I think he did, too — particularly because Jobs emphasized the fact that they knew people were going to disagree, vociferously. (Jobs was one of the best communicators the world has ever seen, so that’s no ding against Schiller.) But Jobs and Schiller meant “courage” in the same way: having the courage to make a sure-to-be controversial decision when there is a non-controversial option, simply because they believe it to be the right thing to do in the long run.
It’s funny how so many people have been hung up on Phil Schiller’s “courage” explanation. I’ll admit, it didn’t come off particularly well. But if you look beyond the snark and listen to Schiller’s full remarks, I think you’ll start to get it.
What Apple did was force the issue. In my day job, I often make decisions that effect the freight process in the retail store where I work. One strategy that I’ll often employ is shrinking the amount of available space for a department’s backstock. Other employees usually get pretty upset with me for doing this. But more often than not, by the time the next truck shipment arrives, they’ve done enough work in that department to shrink its backstock to an acceptable level.
Forcing the issue does, indeed, take courage. And doing so shows that you aren’t afraid to take a little heat in order to get the desired outcome. Apple knew that some portion of users would get angry about the removal of the headphone jack, but do you expect us to continue using it forever? Would headphone companies invest the resources necessary to improve the wireless experience if Apple hadn’t given them this nudge? Perhaps.
But with all the physical constraints of handsets and everyone’s desire to pack them with more and more technology, something had to give eventually. Maybe Apple removed the headphone jack a little prematurely. But I think we’ll find a wireless future much faster because Apple had the courage to take the heat.