Tag: Tim Cook

Apple’s iWatch disappoints

tim-cook-glareOne thing that is weird about the Tame Apple Press is that if Apple makes a big cock up it really has nothing to say.

If Apple’s iWatch was even a little bit interesting, the press would have been over the top in its enthusiasm. There would have been a ton of coverage and lots of snaps of  the grimly smiling Tim Cook looking like an evil magician on his way to a baby boiling conference.

Sure there was the usual staged Nuremberg rally, where Apple staffers, fanboys and the Tame Apple Press cheered the arrival of the iPhone with the usual standing ovulation. But they would have done that anyway.

What was interesting was how muted the rest of the press coverage was. Warning signs tipped up when the Italian television news, which only reports bollocks like this,  gave the iWatch a token 30 seconds. Most of that 30 seconds was a free advert for the iPhone and hardly mentioned the watch at all. By contrast the iPhone 6 got 15 minutes when it launched and Prime Minister of Italy Matteo Renzi smuggly umming and erring his way through a 20 minute speech was covered verbatim.

A search through the wires this morning showed the usual suspects giving an uncharacteristically muted coverage. The News Republic did not even mention the watch, and instead talked about Cook’s tweet about not sleeping before the launch.

So why the disappointed response? Apple’s iWatch has arrived nearly two years behind its rivals and it basically has nothing to offer for its huge price tag $350 price tag.

Apple to enter this limited market had to really wow people with new functionality and it simply didn’t. Jobs’ Mob’s first real “innovation” since the death of Steve was an overpriced copy of what was already on the market.

What could have improved the watch’s chances was a killer app involving health care readings, but beyond a basic heart rate meter Apple could not get it to go.

Another thing which could have made it more interesting was it being independent from its iPhone.
However the watch needs the phone to function, meaning that if you are Christy Turlington Burns and you take the thing on your run you have to lug your heavy iphone with you. If you are carrying the phablet version of the phone that is really heavy. It might make you a better runner to carry all that weight, but since most iPhone users are carrying a few extra pounds anyway it is probably not a good idea.

So if you want the watch for sport, the iWatch does some of what you want, less efficiently, for three times the price of a sports product.

If you want the watch to complement your iPhone then it fails there too. Why do you need something on your wrist that your iPhone already has in your pocket?

All this does not mean the iWatch will fail. In fact it is a screaming indictment of modern civilisation that the iWatch will probably sell in reasonable numbers. Apple might be able to save the product in version two by getting the health functionality going. But they are empty sales. They are people buying something they don’t need, because it has an Apple logo. You can only get away with that so often.

But this is not the sort of product that even the Tame Apple Press wants to peddle. Instead they are wandering away whistling, not daring to point out this Emperor has no clothes on in case Apple blacklists them.

But smarter minds, who are worried that Apple has run out of ideas, are selling their shares. A mate of mine who has had them since the iPhone, dumped the lot when he heard that Apple had removed a ton of health functionality from the product. He reasons that ultimately Apple will fail because it has become too big and run out of ideas. The iWatch proves it.

Apple copies Intel and drinks milk and honey

Apple's Tim CookFruity cargo cult Apple is set to copy Intel’s success by shifting an ever increasing amount of development work to Israel.

Chief Executive Tim Cook was in Israel on Thursday to visit the company’s new research and development offices in Herzlyia.

Jobs’ Mob also has an R&D center in Haifa, in the country’s north, which is Apple’s second largest research and development hub outside of the US.

Jobs’ Mob recently bought two Israel outfits – Anobit Technologies and PrimeSense which both make microprocessor chip designs.

Apple has also hired most of the Israeli employees of a chip-design division that Texas Instruments decided to shut down in 2013 in Ra’anana, some 10 miles north of Tel Aviv and has been hiring like crazy for its chip design center in Haifa.

On its current jobs posting site for Israel, Apple is advertising for a range of hardware and software positions, including silicon and semiconductor design and testing engineers who will be required to work in labs.

The Wall Street Journal quoted Shlomo Gradman, chairman of the Israeli Semiconductor Club as saying that Apple’s Israeli acquisitions and its expanding local workforce show that the company is becoming more and more independent on the chip level, where it once had to rely on external suppliers.

Cook said in the meeting with Israeli president Reuven Rivlin that Israel and Apple have got much closer together over the last three years than ever before

Apple blows money on two data centres

Apple's CEO Tim Cook - shot from WikimediaApple has so much money swilling around in its bank account that it can easily afford to spend $2 billion on data centres in Europe.

And that’s just what it’s doing, according to a report from Reuters.

The centres will be based in Denmark and Ireland and will be powered by renewable energy and offer several hundred jobs.

The data centres will be used to support Apple’s online services such as iTunes and its App Store, and will open in 2017.

Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, said in a statement that the investment is the company’s biggest in Europe to date.

The Irish centre will be based in Galway and will hire 300 people. Ireland is a favourite spot for US tech multinationals, largely because of the tax breaks it gives the company.

Apple has record breaking results

apple-disney-dreams-snow-white-Favim.com-142405The Tame Apple Press is beside itself with joy as it reported that its favourite company had some rather good results.

Phrases like “smashed Wall Street expectations.” “record sales” and “largest profit in corporate history” were liberally used.

The company sold 74.5 million iPhones in its fiscal first quarter ended December  27, while many analysts had expected fewer than 70 million. Revenues rose to $74.6 billion from $57.6 billion a year earlier.

S&P analyst Howard Silverblatt claimed that Apple’s $18 billion profit was the biggest ever reported by a public company, worldwide and Apple’s cash pile is now $178 billion, enough to buy IBM.

The Tame Apple Press were even more excited when Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said the Cupertino, California-based company would release the Apple Watch, in April, nearly two years behind the market.

The press rushed to find analysts who said that Apple was jolly brilliant while Microsoft and IBM had disappointing results.

However, as you might expect there was an element of selective reporting. For example, analysts expected Apple to sell more iPhones in China than the US – it did not. Although sales in China were “up 70 percent on last year” sales behind the bamboo curtain were not that great last year. The Tame Apple Press praised the company’s partnership with China Mobile for being responsible for the increase in sales, ignoring the fact they predicted earlier that China sales would be blistering.

Unable to blame Apple, Reuters blamed the Chinese economic slow down for the poor Chinese outing and instead claimed that Apple was well positioned to do better next year.

Apple reported net profit of $18.02 billion compared with $13.07 billion a year earlier. Analysts had expected revenue of $67.69 billion.

Cooler heads pointed out that Apple would face problems next year because of the stronger dollar and predicted that things would not be as good. Apple predicted revenue of $52 billion to $55 billion in its fiscal second quarter, compared with Wall Street’s average target of $53.79 billion.

Meanwhile Cook was touting new shiny things to encourage more positive talk about the outfit.  Not only did he promise to release the iWatch which is now so out of date the specs were originally designed on the great pyramid, he talked about Apple’s new mobile payment service, Apple Pay which is, so far, to make much headway.

The largest profit in corporate history was Fannie Mae which made $84 billion in 2013.

Apple CEO gets wage rise

Apple's Tim CookThe CEO of Apple’s salary rose by 43 percent last year, the company said.
Tim Cook, a Brit, now only earns $2 million a year, up from a measly $1.4 million before his salary was raised in February 2014.
If you count Cook’s total remuneration it amounts to $9.2 million a year.
Apple also raised other executives’ salary by over 14 percent, the company said.
The executives got their wage increased because Apple compared their salaries to other peoples’ salaries in comparable industries.
If executives at Apple hit their targets, they can earn bonuses worth ip to 400 percent of their salary.
Cook is judged by the company to have hit his targets since he became CEO in August 2011.

 

FT names Apple boss “Man of the Year”

Apple's Tim CookThe Financial Times has named the spiritual and temporal leader of the fruity cargo cult Apple as its man of the year.

Tim Cook, the FT claimed, was doing wonders for Apple and making it a less heartless company. Jobs’ Mob is actually starting to do all the things that people said it did.

During a recent shareholders meeting when one audience member tried to push Apple’s chief executive on the profitability of Apple’s various environmental initiatives, such as its solar-powered datacentre, Cook growled.

“We do things for other reasons than a profit motive, we do things because they are right and just,” Mr Cook growled. Whether in human rights, renewable energy or accessibility for people with special needs, “I don’t think about the bloody ROI,” Cook said. “Just to be very straightforward with you, if that’s a hard line for you… then you should get out of the stock.”

Fortunately, for Cook it has not backfired. The share price has increased by around 50 percent since that shareholder meeting, at one point taking its market capitalisation above $700 billion.

Financial success and dazzling new technology alone might have been enough to earn Apple’s steely chief executive the FT’s vote as the 2014 Person of the Year, enthused the FT, but Cook’s “brave exposition of his values” also sets him apart.

“If hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it’s worth the trade-off with my own privacy,” he wrote in Businessweek in October.

In fact, the only criticism that people seem to have of Cook is that he is not Steve Jobs and lacks any sense of showmanship. He is not as closely involved in new product development as his predecessor, which is probably why the new iPhone bends rather easily.

Tim Cook is gay – so what?

tim-cook-glareThis morning the Tame Apple Press is full of praise for Apple CEO Tim Cook “coming out as gay as if it is really important.

Writing in Bloomberg Businessweek, Apple CEO Tim Cook, unprompted, has said that he is gay. It was news that comes as no surprise to anyone, so why in 2014 was it news?

Cook’s sexuality has been known  for ages, in fact when he took over, I mentioned it in his biography only to have it cut out by the news editor. “Who the hell cares?” he diplomatically pointed out. Indeed.

If Cook had come out in Oscar Wilde’s time, when it was illegal, it would be news. However, this is 2014 and being gay is normal. The sort of people who do not think it is normal are the sort of people who have all sorts of undesirable prejudices and no one wants to be like. Even the concept of “coming out” is a relic of a time when homosexuality had to be secret and not considered normal.

Why does it matter? The Tame Apple Press says that such an announcement will “save lives” because kids will no longer be bullied for their sexuality. After all if Tim Cook can come out then the other kids will say “It is ok the guy who makes our great gadgets is gay so we will accept you”. Clearly the Tame Apple Press has no understanding of the minds of bullies.

So if it does not really make a difference why is Cook saying it?

Apple has been in the press a lot lately and the news has not been good. Its iPhone 6 bent and caught fire, it was implicated in the bankruptcy of its Sapphire Glass maker, Apple Pay was rejected by retailers, its iCloud was hacked and celebrities had their naked selfies exposed, the iWatch is late and will probably be a turkey.

Fairly or unfairly there are mutterings are that “none of this would happen under Jobs” and “Apple is not the same”,

The feeling is that Apple needs a “personality” as a leader and Cook is decidedly lacking in that regard. This announcement was like a back-story episode in Season 2 of a sci-fi drama. We have known that someone is two dimensionally evil, hates aliens, or has a phobia about custard, but in this episode we are shown the reason. This is “fleshing out of the character” is not designed to provide information, but is supposed to make a 2D character more three-dimensional.

The problem is that Tim Cook’s only back-story is that he is gay – the very thing that for the last two decades humanity in the Western world has decided is normal. As a result, he is still as two dimensional as his phones because really… who cares what Cook bonks?

 

Apple CEO furious at shops

tim-cook-glareApple CEO Tim Cook is furious that shops are not using his Apple Pay system and are thinking of setting up their own payment schemes.

CVS and Rite Aid gave Apple Pay the thumbs down in favour of a rival system that roughly 50 chains, including Wal-Mart and Best Buy, are developing for in-house use.
Apple touted Apple Pay as one of the reasons you needed to buy one of its expensive bendy phones and told its fan boy base that they would be able to shop in most places by waving their phones at bored cashiers.

Unfortunately, for Cook, his cunning plan required retailers to pay fees to card companies like Visa and Mastercard. Fees range between two percent and three percent of costs per transaction and it would seem unnecessary if retailers used their own system.

Cook argued on Monday that Apple Pay offered better security and privacy than competing services, and that retailers risked alienating customers by limiting choices at checkout.
“It’s a skirmish,” Cook said in response to a question about the retailers’ moves.

“Merchants have different objectives sometimes. But in the long arc of time, you only are relevant as a retailer or merchant if your customers love you.”

In other words if the retailers do not do what Apple tells them, people who own its phones will shop elsewhere.

Of course the Tame Apple press is doing its best to help. Rather than telling fanboys that no shop is going to be impressed with them waving their flaccid bendy phone at them, it is instead trying to talk up the failing Apple Pay system. This is mostly done by publishing Apple sourced figures about the number of people signing up to Apple Pay  to put pressure on retailers to do Cook’s bidding.

Apple claims sales record for iPhone 6

Apple's Tim CookGizmo firm Apple claimed it sold over 10 million iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus phones in the three days after it was launched by CEO Tim Cook. (pictured)

The phones are available in the UK, Singapore, Puerto Rico, Japan, Hong Kong, Germany, France, Canada, Australia and the USA – and will be sold in 20 more countries on September 26th.

Cook said that while there are supply constraints on the iPhone 6, the launch is Apple’s best ever.

The phones uses Apple’s A8 chip which is a 64 bit microprocessor, touch app Apple Pay and 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch retina HD displays.

The phones also come with an upgrade to the operating system, iOS 8, which offers new features including predictive typing and a Health app.

Apple is using its familiar trick of charging quite a bit extra depending on the memory. In the US, for example the magic figure is a $100 hike between the 16GB, 64GB and 128GB models.

Apple rumoured to unveil smartwatch

Apple's CEO Tim Cook - shot from WikimediaA number of fashion journalists has been invited to Apple’s big launch in San Francisco tomorrow and that’s led to speculation that it will, after all, show off a smartwatch.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that fashion editors and bloggers “in unprecedented numbers” have been invited to the jamboree.

Apple is currently suffering from a perception that it has not really shown off anything new since the introduction of its iPad some years back.  Its share price on Wall Street has suffered too.

But even if Apple’s CEO Tim Cook (pictured) does show off a smartwatch, Taiwanese suppliers reported just last week that several components were still in early testing stage and that it is unlikely that an Apple smartwatch will be available to buy until 2015.

Apple also joins a slew of other vendors hoping that smartwatches will really light up peoples’ lives.

The launch tomorrow, could be rather banal, with Apple just introducing another iPhone to its range.

Apple wakes up to security

blue-appleApple’s CEO, Tim Cook, has admitted to the Wall Street Journal that it needs to improve security on its users accounts.

But Cook said that it wasn’t Apple’s fault that hackers had broken into iCloud.  He said the hackers used various methods to get passwords for iCloud accounts but none of the material came from Apple servers.

He did, however, promise to do something to beef up security.  He told the Journal that Apple will now tip people off if someone changes a password, or when a new device attempts to access the iCloud.

That’s going to be carried out within two weeks, said Cook.

Apple has been widely criticised for its laissez faire attitude towards the recent hacking, and no doubt Cook has agreed to do an interview to defuse a situation that might spoil the launch of  yet another iPhone next week.