Apple CEO Steve Jobs confirmed his company faces tough competition in digital music.

“We have competitors that are trying to kill us,” he said.

Apple isn’t prepared to repeat any perceived historical mistakes.

Asking: “Why have we been able to maintain our position?” Jobs pointed to Apple’s secret success sauce.

“The iPod looks like a piece of hardware, but it’s not. It’s software. And iTunes is the best jukebox and iTunes Music Store is the best digital music distribution service”.

Apple’s competitors need to overcome a foe that boasts: “World class hardware, applications and services,” he said. These constituents “work together seamlessly,” Jobs added.

And this is the secret, he stressed. Apple’s “whole widget” approach to music is its strength. It produces the software, the devices and the store.

“No other company does it all,” he said, “The PC ecosystem, where one company makes the hardware and another makes the software, doesn't work; we do all of them,” he added.

Jobs also commented on recent reports indicating Microsoft and Creative to own patents that relate to Apple’s iPod.

He dismissed these reports as “lazy reporting”. He also noted that Apple’s iPod constitutes ‘prior art’: “We have lots of iPod patents. Microsoft filed its patent months after we launched the iPod,” he said.

Jobs also offered enigmatic comment regarding recent reports of the company filing a patent application for the word "iPodcast".

"I know why we applied for that patent," he said, adding: "We aren't going to use it".