So PAYING to visit someplace entitles you to later copy their ideas?
So failing to capitalise on R&D is suitable justification? (whoa, hasn't the tide changed re. all this patent nonsense) They who invest in R&D are free to do, or not do, whatever they want with it. For somebody to see "ooh, that looks good, let's make it like that" may or may not be ripping off an idea, it may or may not be an homage. But one thing it absolutely definitely isn't is "innovation". Somebody ELSE had the idea FIRST, Apple FOLLOWED. That is, I remind you, what this sub-thread is about.
Oh, and CEOs aren't paid to be nice. Nice shouldn't cost extra. And certainly appearing to be sane should be part of the job description. Would you invest a lot of money in developing for a platform where the CEO appears to have a highly capricious nature and make statements of levity on what seems little more than whims and emotions? To quote El Reg: "The ban arrived just days before Adobe introduced a new iPhone packager with its Flash Professional CS5 development kit." (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/04/30/jobs_flash_letter_deconstructed/) Well, there's the resources and development of the iPhone parts of Flash (and, I would assume, some sort of runtime to make it work) pissed away. Because the CEO is having a hissy fit. 25 good years can be easily destroyed by behaviour like this.
At this time, unless you think you have an app to pull in cash or are writing freebie farting apps, I would not consider the iPhone to be a viable platform for development until we know the rules are fixed and will stay that way. It isn't about innovation, it isn't about sexy, it isn't about branding, it isn't about who's compiler is the most orgasmic. It is about TRUST and CONFIDENCE. My next phone won't be an i-anything, I just don't have any trust or confidence in the company. [alternative suggestions welcome!] While this might sound like me having an equal sulk, there are two important differences. My sulk doesn't stand to affect/inconvenience millions, and I am the guy with the cash - lest a big giant corporation actually forget what their purpose is. No customer equals pointless product. Well, they might not notice one or two in a million, but if Jobs keeps up like this, the numbers will increase. Or have you forgotten that the awesome Google who did everything Lycos and Altavista couldn't has turned, in the course of a decade, into a company more feared/hated than Microsoft? Bloody hell, who'd have thought that. But it goes to show that feelings and opinions change. And if in the future Apple should become something less than the status symbol it is now... well, they wouldn't have innovated on that either. :-)