Apple chief executive Steve Jobs on Tuesday doled out technology world wisdom that included not being rude to competitors or falling in love with Internet television boxes.

Jobs defended Apple tactics and fielded questions confidently during a lengthy on-stage interview at an All Things Digital conference in the Southern California town of Rancho Palos Verdes.

The fact that Apple's stock market value has topped that of Microsoft "is a little surreal for those of us who have been in the industry a long time," said Jobs.

Apple TV devices that hit the market in early 2007 remain classified as "a hobby" at the firm. Jobs appeared unconvinced that Google could ignite the market with Internet television hardware to be launched later this year.

"The TV is going to lose in our eyes until there is a better go-to-market strategy," Jobs said.

"No one wants to buy a box. Ask TiVo, ask Roku, ask us ... ask Google in a few months."

Jobs sidestepped whether he felt Google had betrayed Apple by going from an ally to a rival, with Android-software based smartphones challenging iPhones and now Google TV that will compete with Apple TV devices.

"We didn't go into the search business," Jobs said, adding Apple has no plans to do so in the future. "They started competing with us and got more and more serious."

Google chief executive Eric Schmidt resigned from the Apple board of directors last year as the companies increasingly became rivals.

Jobs said Apple doesn't intend to block Google software from the firm's iPhones, iPods, iPads, and Macintosh computers.

"Just because we're competing with somebody doesn't mean we have to be rude," Jobs said.

Jobs was not so kind to Adobe Systems, standing behind a ban on widely used Flash video software in Apple gadgets.

Jobs dismissed Flash as an antiquated program giving way to a new HTML 5 format.

"Sometimes you just have to pick the things that look like they're going to be the right kind of horses to ride going forward, and Flash looks like a technology that had it's day but is really waning," Jobs said.

"HTML5 looks like the technology that is really on the ascendancy right now."

Apple's iconic leader also defended the company's harsh reaction to a new-generation iPhone prototype getting into the hands of technology news website Gizmodo, which paid for the gadget and posted an analysis online.

Apple referred the matter to police as a crime and investigators last month raided a home of Gizmodo editor in a hunt for evidence.

Gizmodo said it bought the iPhone prototype from someone who found it in a beer garden, where it was left by an Apple engineer celebrating his birthday.

"There is a debate as to whether it was left in a bar or stolen out of his bag," Jobs said.

Jobs told of being counseled to ignore the loss of the prototype on the grounds that Apple should avoid ugly press sure to result from going after journalists.

"I thought deeply about this and I ended up concluding that the worst thing that could possibly happen as we get big and we get a little more influence in the world is that we change our core values and start letting it slide,"Jobs said.

"I can't do that," he continued. "I'd rather quit."

Jobs stood up for the Foxconn factory in China where iPhones are made, saying the facility "is not a sweatshop" and that much effort is being put into putting an end to a rash of suicides there this year.

He predicted an inexorable shift from desk top personal computers (PCs) to mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptop computers in a "post-PC era."