Apple CEO Steve Jobs made a rare TV appearance, giving an interview to the BBC’s News 24 business news service while in London on Wednesday.

The interview was broadcast last night at around 8:40pm. Jobs seemed energetic as ever, accompanied by Apple’s chief designer, Jonathan Ives.

Long-term Mac industry-watchers could be forgiven for thinking that Jobs stuck to Apple’s script throughout the three-minute segment.

R&D Looking at the economic malaise around IT, Jobs said: “We’re trying to innovate our way through this. While other manufacturers cut research and development spending and cut staff, Apple’s still hiring and putting money into R&D.

“We aim to create products that surprise and delight our customers,” he declared.

Apple has created major interest in its products in recent months, Jobs confirmed: “There are more people interested in switching to Mac than ever before,” he said, citing the company’s “great” products, and focusing on Mac OS X.

“Mac OS X is so far ahead of the others it’s not funny,” he affirmed.

Market share Asked about Apple’s market share, Jobs confirmed that this remains at five per cent, but discussed Apple’s stated aim to double that share. “We have a similar share of the market as Mercedes and BMW have of the automobile market,” he said.

But Windows remains the dominant operating system. “Clearly, the PC is dominant,” agreed Jobs. “Apple is certainly in second place. We’d like to narrow the gap,” said Jobs.

Looking at Apple’s relationship with Microsoft, Jobs looked back to the Microsoft-bashing Apple that existed before he returned to take the helm. “We now have a good relationship with Microsoft – it’s a good partner, and I think they feel the same about us.” Jobs also repeated his claim that the best version of Microsoft Office only runs on a Mac.

More extracts from the interview are available on the BBC Web site.