Photography Was One of Three Things Steve Jobs Wanted to Reinvent

Steve Jobs may have had ideas beyond the iPhone when it came to transforming the landscape of photography. In a New York Times interview published today, Jobs’ biographer Walter Isaacson said,

[Jobs] had three things that he wanted to reinvent: the television, textbooks and photography. He really wanted to take these on. I didn’t go into details about these products in the book because it was implicitly Apple’s creations and it’s not fair to the company to reveal these details.

Apple dipped its toes in the digital camera market back in 1994, but pulled out a couple years later after Jobs returned to the company and focused it on computers. Of the three product categories, televisions, not photography, is the one that’s being mentioned the most right now — Apple is expected to announce a Siri-powered TV by 2013.

(via NYT via AppleInsider)

Image credit: Steve Jobs Keynote by acaben

  • Anonymous

    Re-invent photography?  Not even close.  Yes, a lot of people take pictures with their iphone, but that isn’t changing photography.  All that did was hurt camera companies. 

  • Anonymous

    Are you kidding me?  The smart phone made the idea of the polaroid hypersonic.  Instant sharing to the web of pictures and videos.  Sure other phones can do this but I think the iPhone was the first smart phone that did it well.  Photo journalists in our middle eastern wars are winning awards with pictures taken with their iPhones.  

    Maybe it wasn’t re-invented, but it is an emerging revolution, especially as smart phones are replacing compacts.

  • SkyStrike

    I would rather think of it as re-invent Camera and it’s various functions than re-invent photography..

  • Josh Ladella

    Judging by Apple’s track record, I think Jobs had more up his sleeve than just putting a camera into a web-centered phone. Time will only tell what Jobs imagined for the camera of the future. Or perhaps we will never know.

  • Michael

    Wow, what a bitter comment “All that did was hurt camera companies.” 

    I don’t get it, first of all iPhone revolutionized the smart phone industry, the app industry and now the convenience of having a great quality digital photography that you always gonna carry anyways.

    If it weren’t for iPhone, we probably still be using the clunky blackberry phones with maybe higher megapixels but crappy in-house os that the pictures will probably never gonna leave the phone anyways.  No Android phones would even exist.

    But there are limitations to the iPhone and because of this people who first encounters having fun taking photographs with iPhone will want to start using a dedicated semi pro cameras like DSLR, micro thirds, and whatever it suits their needs, which in the end is actually helping out the entire photography industry. 

    There’s no doubt that iPhone has changed the way how we communicate not just by phone and text messages but with sharing photos and videos every minute, every second, every hour of the day.  Stop denying it you know you are using it too!

  • Jens Fischer

    “If it weren’t for iPhone, we probably still be using the clunky blackberry phones with maybe higher megapixels but crappy in-house os that the pictures will probably never gonna leave the phone anyways”

    Just because Blackberry was popular, does not mean that it was the be-all and end all of mobile devices.
    The “iPhone form factor” was completly widespread in the PDA market years before. Just look at the Palm TX and Sony TH55 and compare those to the original iPhone specifications. Aside from multi-touch, the iphone did nothing that others had not done before. All they did was market it well.

    If Apple had not released the iPhone, someone else would have. 

  • Nn-r

    Whats it with all these people idolizing Jobs. As if he single handedly designed all of apples products. There are design teams behind all of ‘his’ products. Just giving approval or pointers and then marketing it doesn’t make him a guru everyone wants him to be.

  • Igogosh

    OK, ok. Jobs was not a God but he was God-like in what he was doing:))  No man can single handedly bring out a product from the design to a customer. But we should give credit to iPhone for changing lots of things we do now, including photo. 
     It is an incredible Smartphone and it’s great to have android phones breathing down it’s neck (both operate under the same platform, by the way, which apple created)

  • Michael

    I have to disagree with you Jen, what Steve Jobs did great was to take out all the unnecessary components to any products and made it simply better. 

    I had Palm TX and similar phones like it as well but it’s nothing came close to the iPhone. Why? Because while most of these phones came with a manual that no one can fully understanding its operation, iPhone came with no manuals but people was able to intuitively use it and began making there own apps to make it better, what phone industry was allowing third party apps into their phones, wouldn’t you agree that the one of the best part of the iPhone is able to create apps?  It even made instant millionaires selling apps, isn’t that’s enough to see a revolutionary product from the previous phone and apps market?  Look at how the iPhone changed the mobile game industry.

    If it wasn’t for iPhone the Palm, Sony, Motorola, Samsung and Nokia will probably just kept trying to make a similar smartphone with different design, and colors just running around the squirrel wheel.  When iPhone launched the entire phone industry began to struggle because they had no idea how to start from scratch to create a phone that could compete with the iPhone.  Now, they are many phones thanks to the innovation of the iPhone trying to come up with a better phone giving us more options to choose from and more apps to sell in different platform.  But seriously none could have created a product like iPhone and that’s because Steve Jobs was great revisionary.  He may not be an inventor but he made everything better for the consumers and for the market otherwise we wouldn’t even bother making debating comments.  Plus being able to manage great designers, product engineers, and innovative marketing team can only be done with great leadership and without its leadership there’s no company that could produce great products like Steve has done.  What was Apple doing when Steve Jobs wasn’t there?  Only a guru can point and approve of products that changes the world! 

    And Jen it was Apple who launched the revolutionary product the iPhone, there’s no “if” that just a dumb remark.

  • KJ

    Ummm there have been apps for phones such as treo and others looooooong before iPhone. The only thing Apple did and it was significant was provide multi touch, a glitzy OS and to take the Eco system out of the free market and control it. Apple has done well and the I phone is a great phone with a crap load of limitations (at least some have been lifted due to pressure from android). However I was taking photos with my treo and emailing them up to flicker long before iPhone. What iPhone gave was one singular device (meaning no options because Steve felt he knew what you should use) with one OS. The by product of this is it’s fairly easy to develop apps and thus you created a good app development base. I don’t like being hamstrung by apple but no doubt for the avg user this model works very well. Reinvent photography no… Sped up where we were headed yes.

  • Isiaka Oo

    Have you guys forgot about the Nokia N95?

  • iAwani

    Apple is not a dominant name in prhotography. But the vision of Steve Jobs finally makes iPhone as the most used camera on Flickr, which makes iPhone as the most used photography device until today.