What Steve Jobs Said About Java and iOS
In 2007, Apple’s then-CEO Steve Jobs was interviewed about the new iPhone and had quite a few interesting things to say about web technologies as a whole. In particular, he was quite dismissive over the long-term use of Java as a host for web applications.
“Java’s not worth building in. Nobody uses Java anymore. It’s this big heavyweight ball and chain."
This was Jobs’ justification for the fact that the iOS version of Safari would not have a new version of Java developed for it, thereby closing off access to many websites for iPhone (and later, iPad) users.
What is fascinating about this statement is how wrong Jobs was. At the time he said it, BlackBerry was a massive platform, with thousands of Java apps available. Other mobile platforms such as Symbian and Windows Mobile were also able to run Java apps, giving the impression that Steve Jobs was more interested in retaining control of the App Store as a resource of software that was specifically designed for use on the iOS platform.
This makes perfect sense, of course; apps are likely to perform better on a device for which they are specifically targeted, and developers creating Java apps for iOS would not be bound by the strict listing requirements of the App Store.