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The Steve Jobs email that outlined Apple’s strategy a year before his death

April 5, 2014
April 5, 2014

In 2010, a year before his death, Steve Jobs outlined Apple’s strategy in an email to the company’s 100 most senior employees. He heralded the “Post PC era,” vowed “Holy War with Google,” promised to “further lock customers into our ecosystem,” and warned that Apple was “in danger of hanging on to old paradigm too long.”

The email was an agenda for Apple’s annual “top 100″ meeting later that year. It was released this week as part of Apple’s lawsuit against Samsung over smartphone patents. Here is the entire email:

From: Steve Jobs <sjobs@apple.com>
Date: October 24, 2010 6:12:41 PM PDT
To: ET <et@group.apple.com>
Subject: Top 100 – A

Here’s my current cut.

Steve

1. 2011 Strategy – SJ
– who are we?
– headcount, average age, …
– VP count, senior promotions in last year
– percent new membership at this meeting
– what do we do?
– pie chart of units/product line and revenues/product line
– same charts with tablets + phones merged together
– Post PC era- Apple is the first company to get here
– Post PC products now 66% of our revenues
– iPad outsold Mac within 6 months
– Post PC era = more mobile (smaller, thinner, lighter) + communications + apps + cloud services
– 2011: Holy War with Google
– all the ways we will compete with them
– primary reason for this Top 100 meeting
– you will hear about what we’re doing in each  presentation
– 2011: Year of the Cloud
– we invented Digital Hub concept
– PC as hub for all your digital assets
– contacts, calendars, bookmarks, photos, music, videos
– digital hub (center of our universe) is moving from PC to cloud
– PC now just another client alongside iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, …
– Apple is in danger of hanging on to old paradigm too long (innovator’s dilemma)
– Google and Microsoft are further along on the technology, but haven’t quite figured it out yet
– tie all of our products together, so we further lock customers into our ecosystem
– 2015: new campus

2. State of the Company
– Peter & Tim
– FY2010 recap
– FY2011 plan
– where is our business
– geo analysis (NA, Euro, Japan, Asia, possibly break out china) (present on map)
– key milestones, trends & future goals
– comparisons with Google, Samsung, HTC, Motorola & RIM3. iPhone
– Joz & Bob
– 2011 Strategy:
– “plus” iPhone 4 with better antenna, processor, camera & software to stay ahead of competitors until mid 2012
– have LTE version in mid-2012
– create low cost iPhone model based on iPod touch to replace 3GS
– Business & competitive update
– show Droid and RIM ads
– Verizon iPhone
– schedule, marketing, …
– iPhone 5 hardware
– H4 performance
– new antenna design, etc
– new camera
– schedule
– [CONFIDENTIAL]
– cost goal
– show model (and/or renderings)
– Jony

4. iPad – Bob, Jony, Dan Riccio, Michael Tchao ,Randy Ubillos, Xander Soren, Roger Rosner
– 2011 Strategy: ship iPad 2 with amazing hardware and software before our competitors even catch up with our current model
– Business & competitive update – Michael
– Apps, corporate adoption, …
– show Samsung, HP(?) anf iPad ads
– 2011 Product Roadmap
– Bob, Dan & Jony
– iPad 2
– new ID, H4, UMTS + Verizon in one model, cameras, …
– EVT units & cases
– HDMI dongle (use for projection of demos below?)
– iPad 3
– display, H4T
– DEMOS:- PhotoBooth (Michael?)
– iMovie (Randy)
– GarageBand (Xander)
– text book authoring system (Roger)
– working display for iPad 3 (during break)

———-

5. iOS – Scott, Joz
– Strategy: catch up to Android where we are behind (notifications, tethering, speech, …) and leapfrog them (Siri, …)
– Timeline of iOS releases from first until Telluride, including Verizon
– Jasper tent poles
– Durango tent poles (without MobileMe)
– Telluride tent poles (with “catch up” and “leapfrog” notations on each one)
– DEMOS:
– Jasper: AirPlay to AppleTV – video from iPad, photos from iPhone, ??
– Durango: ?? (without MobileMe features)
– Telluride: Siri, ?

6. MobileMe – Cue, SJ, Roger Rosner
– Strategy: catch up to Google cloud services and leapfrog them (Photo Stream, cloud storage)
– Android
– deeply integrates Google cloud services
– way ahead of Apple in cloud services for contacts, calendars, mail
– 2011
– Apple’s year of the cloud
– tie all of our products together
– make Apple ecosystem even more sticky
– Free MobileMe for iPhone 4, iPad and new iPod touch
– Jasper – Sign up with Apple ID, Find My iPhone
– Durango
– Find My Friends, Calendar, Contacts, Bookmarks, Photo Stream
– April
– iWork cloud storage
– Telluride
– cloud storage for third party apps
– iOS backup
– new iDisk for Mac
– Growth
– projected growth, cost/user
– plan to scale to 100 million users
– transition plan for paid members
– what about email?
– DEMOS:
– Find My Friends
– Calendar
– Photo Stream
– iWork cloud storage (Roger Rosner)

7. Mac
– David Moody, Bob, Craig Federigi, Randy Ubilos & ?
– Hardware roadmap
– Lion plan
– Mac App Store
– Final Cut Pro DEMO (Randy & ?)

8. Apple TV 2- David Moody, Jeff Robbin
– Strategy: stay in the living room game and make a great “must have” accessory for iOS devices
– sales so far, projections for this holiday season
– add content:- NBC, CBS, Viacom, HBO, …
– TV subscription?
– where do we go from here?
– apps, browser, magic wand?

———-

9. Stores Update – Eddy, Patrice
– Music
– Strategy: Leap even further ahead of Google in music
– Beatles
– iTunes in the cloud
– App Store
– Strategy: Leap even further ahead of Google in discovering great new iOS apps

10. iAds Update – Andy Miller

11. Retail Update – Ron Johnson

Read this next: Why Apple’s dream for television keeps falling apart

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