Category Archives: Tim Cook

Mossberg: Apple is a movie studio and its next blockbuster is coming later this year

D11 Tim Cook

Recode’s Walt Mossberg is out with an interesting piece today taking a look at Apple after Steve Jobs and revisiting Tim Cook’s promise of new product categories across 2014. While comparing Apple and its product releases to movie studios— big blockbuster hits followed by sequels that often make more money— Walt says Apple execs have told him “impressive new products” are indeed on the way.

But I think the most useful way of thinking about Apple is to see it as a movie studio. Studios release blockbuster franchise movies every few years, and then try to live off a series of sequels until the next big, successful franchise. We are in the early stages of one such project right now: On May 2, Columbia Pictures will release “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” the first of what may be several sequels to the original 2012 film, that was itself a reboot of an earlier series.

Just because these things are sequels doesn’t mean they’re bad, or even worse than the originals. Sometimes, as with “The Godfather Part II,” the sequel is considered by many to be even better than the original. (Of course, sometimes — as with “The Godfather Part III,” a sequel may be reviled as so bad that it’s unworthy of the series.)… And sequels can make more money — sometimes much, much more — than the originals.

While Mossberg has had relative success with Apple’s sequel products in recent years— despite a few hiccups with Maps and iOS 7— he claims “Apple executives have assured me that the second half of 2014 will have impressive new products.” Whether that includes a new game-changing product or “franchise” category remains to be seen.


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Wall Street expecting Apple to report year-on-year revenue fall of 0.2 percent

revenue

The consensus view of 40 analysts polled by Fortune is that Apple’s year-on-year revenue for its fiscal Q2 (Q1 of the calendar year) has fallen by 0.2 percent to $43.6B. This follows earlier predictions that iPhone sales will have grown two percent, and iPad sales will have dropped by 0.7 percent.

Most of our analysts (31 out to 40) are playing it safe, offering estimates within the range of Apple’s guidance — between $42 billion and $44 billion.

Seven think Apple will beat its revenue guidance — by half to three-quarters of a billion dollars, according to Merrill Lynch’s Scott Craig and the Braeburn Group’s Patrick Smellie, respectively. Two analysts – Credit Suisse’s Kulbinder Garcha and the Braeburn Group’s Sunil Shah – think Apple’s revenue may actually have fallen year over year …

Although earnings per share is expected to have grown by 2.4 percent, this growth is largely an illusion: Apple’s stock buyback scheme means that the same earnings are split between a smaller number of shares.

Unsurprisingly, with most now using their iPhones for music, iPod sales are expected to have been hit even harder, analysts expecting year-on-year drop of more than 45 percent. This would be in line with the fall seen in the holiday quarter, with Tim Cook describing the product line as “a declining business.”

As we mentioned before, all eyes are going to be on Apple’s guidance for Q3 to see whether Apple plans to launch anything new in the first half of the year, with an iWatch the most likely prospect for a potential WWDC announcement.

The full table of analyst forecasts can be seen below, the professionals in blue, independents in green.

q2-2014-final1


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: AAPL, Apple, Apple earnings call, Apple earnings call Q2, Credit Suisse, iPad, iPhone, iPod, Merrill Lynch, Tim Cook, Wall Street

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Wall Street expecting Apple to report year-on-year revenue fall of 0.2 percent

revenue

The consensus view of 40 analysts polled by Fortune is that Apple’s year-on-year revenue for its fiscal Q2 (Q1 of the calendar year) has fallen by 0.2 percent to $43.6B. This follows earlier predictions that iPhone sales will have grown two percent, and iPad sales will have dropped by 0.7 percent.

Most of our analysts (31 out to 40) are playing it safe, offering estimates within the range of Apple’s guidance — between $42 billion and $44 billion.

Seven think Apple will beat its revenue guidance — by half to three-quarters of a billion dollars, according to Merrill Lynch’s Scott Craig and the Braeburn Group’s Patrick Smellie, respectively. Two analysts – Credit Suisse’s Kulbinder Garcha and the Braeburn Group’s Sunil Shah – think Apple’s revenue may actually have fallen year over year …

Although earnings per share is expected to have grown by 2.4 percent, this growth is largely an illusion: Apple’s stock buyback scheme means that the same earnings are split between a smaller number of shares.

Unsurprisingly, with most now using their iPhones for music, iPod sales are expected to have been hit even harder, analysts expecting year-on-year drop of more than 45 percent. This would be in line with the fall seen in the holiday quarter, with Tim Cook describing the product line as “a declining business.”

As we mentioned before, all eyes are going to be on Apple’s guidance for Q3 to see whether Apple plans to launch anything new in the first half of the year, with an iWatch the most likely prospect for a potential WWDC announcement.

The full table of analyst forecasts can be seen below, the professionals in blue, independents in green.

q2-2014-final1


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: AAPL, Apple, Apple earnings call, Apple earnings call Q2, Credit Suisse, iPad, iPhone, iPod, Merrill Lynch, Tim Cook, Wall Street

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Auburn University video with Jeff Williams, Bob Iger profiles Tim Cook in honor of Lifetime Achievement award

Tim Cook Auburn

(Photo via Auburn University)

Following Apple CEO Tim Cook being honored with Auburn University’s College of Human Sciences Lifetime Achievement award last December, the university in Alabama from which Tim Cook graduated has shared a video profiling the Apple CEO and his impact at Auburn. While the video was first posted in March and surfaced today, it features commentary and interviews from other notable Apple figures including Jeff Williams, Senior VP of Operations, and Bob Iger, Disney CEO and Apple board member.

In the video, Iger calls Cook “a great leader” and notes his passion and ethics. Auburn notes having Apple’s CEO as a graduate as an excellent recruitment tool.

Tim Cook delivered the commencement speech for Auburn University’s spring class in 2010. He often shares his affection for his alma mater and its football team.

Earlier this year, a local publication in South Alabama near Tim Cook’s hometown wrote about the Apple CEO’s experience growing up in Robertsdale, Alabama. Check out Auburn University’s video below.

Related articles


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Tim Cook calls on Congress to pass Employment Non-Discrimination Act

 

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Apple CEO Tim Cook took to Twitter on Friday to voice his position on a potential new law currently being considering by the United States Congress. “The House should mark the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act by passing ENDA,” Cook tweeted while mentioning members of Congress in leadership positions from both political parties. Cook also tweeted the quote “We shall overcome” and said “Much done but much left to do.” 

The law to which Tim referred, known as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, would prohibit companies with 15 or more employees from discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender. The Apple CEO has previously expressed this position in a Wall Street Journal opinion editorial published last November. The bill has since been passed by the Senate, but has struggled to make it through the House of Representatives.

During his tenure at Apple and especially as CEO, the Alabama native has taken opportunity to express his interest in the movement of equality.

Cook cited both Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy as inspirational figures in a speech last December at Auburn University’s Lifetime Achievement event.

In his WSJ op-ed, Cook noted Apple’s policy as it relates to the proposed law:

Apple’s antidiscrimination policy goes beyond the legal protections U.S. workers currently enjoy under federal law, most notably because we prohibit discrimination against Apple’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees. A bill now before the U.S. Senate would update those employment laws, at long last, to protect workers against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Speaker of the House John Boehner, who leads the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, has previously stated his opposition to the bill becoming law:

I am opposed to discrimination of any kind — in the workplace and any place else. But I think this legislation — that I have dealt with as chairman of the Education Workforce Committee long before I was back in the leadership — is unnecessary and would provide a basis for frivolous lawsuits. People are already protected in the workplace. I am opposed to continuing this.

Tim Cook and Speaker Boehner previously shared a meeting at the US Capital in early 2012, but the topic was assumed to be regarding Apple’s tax practices at the time.


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: Apple, Employment Non-Discrimination Act, Tim Cook

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Everything to know about iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 (Roundup + New Details)

Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 1.33.33 PM

While Apple only officially announced its 2014 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) last week, we have been reporting all of the known information about what Apple plans to unveil at the event over the course of the past few months. Now that WWDC is official, we have compiled a roundup of everything we know about Apple’s next-generation iOS device and Mac operating systems below, and we’ve also included some new tidbits not found in our earlier reporting. You can find out what there is to know so far about iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 below:

iOS 8 – Codenamed Okemo:

iOS 8 is the next version of Apple’s software for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, and it is the first major successor to the significant redesign that was iOS 7. For iOS 8, Apple is retaining the same Jony Ive-designed aesthetic found in iOS 7 and is focusing on additions involving applications, services, and performance. iOS 8 will represent Apple moving into the fitness and health tracking world and it will mark a major milestone in Apple’s efforts to bring its mapping solution up-to-par with competitors from Google and Microsoft.

- Healthbook:

Healthbook Book

The most significant new application that Apple is currently planning to add in iOS 8 is codenamed Healthbook. Healthbook is an application that aggregates health and fitness data from various applications and hardware accessories. The application is akin to Passbook in terms of user-interface design, and users will be able to customize their Healthbook to give visual priority to health statistics that are most important to them. Healthbook is capable of tracking data for various bloodwork details, heart rate, blood pressure, nutrition, blood sugar, sleep, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation, weight, and activity.

Healthbook Cards

The Activity section can track steps taken, calories burned, and miles walked. The Weight tab can track a person’s weight, BMI, and fat %. The current health accessory marketplace includes wireless weight scales, so it is likely that Healthbook will receive its data from those types of products. Both of those aforementioned tabs will have an interface with graphs and charts so that users could track their fitness progress over daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly views. Our earlier reporting on Healthbook goes into further detail about why the application is critical and how it could interact with future Apple wearable devices.

Healthbook Emergency

Another important element of Healthbook is the Emergency Card function. The Emergency Card is a single place for users to store information about themselves. The Emergency Card can keep a person’s name, photograph, birthdate, blood type, organ donor status, emergency contact information, weight, and a list of medication prescriptions. This Emergency Card function could save lives and provide emergency technicians, nurses, hospitals, and doctors with vital information about patients in emergency situations.

- Maps:

Maps Transit

For iOS 8, Apple is planning to overhaul its previously bug-riddled in-house mapping software. The updated application will retain the same user-interface introduced last year with iOS 7, but it will be updated with improved mapping data, better clarity, and important new features.

The updated app is said to include tweaked cartography, clearer labeling, and improved notating of bus stops, train stations, and airports. That is all in addition to upgraded data that is more reliable and more plentiful.

The improved data also makes way for a major new feature: public transit directions. Apple won’t be the first to this feature (Google has had it for several years), but the addition is a change in direction from when former iOS chief Scott Forstall said in 2012 that Apple would leave transit to third-party developers.

Thanks to several acquisitions of transit specialist companies, iOS 8′s Maps app will have transit functionality deeply embedded for several cities around the world. Transit will allow people to navigate using busses, trains, and subways, and it will also include improved navigating to nearby airports.

The transit feature will be integrated as both a new view (in addition to Standard, Hybrid, and Satellite), and it will also be a new option alongside walking and driving for directions. While transit will be integrated, Apple will still be able to point users to third-party transit apps like it has done since iOS 6′s launch. Transit directions will work for both future trip planning and for immediate navigation.

- iTunes Radio:

iTunesRadio

For iOS 8, Apple is considering breaking out the Music app’s iTunes Radio functionality into its own, standalone application. As a tab in the already-existing Music app, iTunes Radio has not received a promoted presence on iOS, and this likely has deterred growth for the service in terms of advertising revenue and usage.

As a standalone application, users will be able to more quickly access iTunes Radio. Psychologically for users, iTunes Radio will be its own app competing with the likes of the PandoraSpotify, and iHeartRadio apps found on the App Store. The benefit for Apple, however, is that iTunes Radio will be pre-installed. The interface for the standalone iTunes Radio application is said to be nearly identical to the one found inside of the iOS Music app and its Home screen icon is a terrestrial radio graphic atop a red background.

The functionality of iTunes Radio will also be akin to its iOS 7 Music app counterpart. Users will be able to browse their history, purchase streamed tracks, locate Featured Stations, create stations based on songs, artists, and albums, and manage stations. Apple previously considered releasing iTunes Radio as a standalone application in iOS 6, but due to problems with striking record label deals, the company ultimately pushed the launch back to iOS 7.

Apple has previously removed functionality from the standard iOS Music (formally called iPod) app and separated functionality into standalone apps. For example, Apple moved video playback for movies, TV shows, and music videos from the iPod app into a Videos app with iOS 5. With iOS 6, Apple began promoting Podcasts as its own App Store app and removed playback from the Music app. In early 2012, Apple re-located playback of iTunes University content to its own app.

The considerations also make sense in light of Apple recently adding more functionality to iTunes Radio, such as news from NPR.

- Voice over LTE:

<> on March 7, 2012 in San Francisco, California.

Another significant addition being considered for iOS 8 and the next-generation iPhone is voice-over-LTE support (VoLTE), according to carrier sources. Currently, when an LTE-capable iPhone needs to make a phone call, the actual call is placed over last generation networks such as 3G. With VoLTE, calls will be transmitted over the same type of network that LTE data is processed through, and this can allow for benefits such as improved call quality.

Of course, carrier support is needed for this functionality, and some countries around the world have carriers that have already rolled out support for VoLTE. For those in the United States, T-Mobile’s network (thanks to its agreement with Metro PCS) supports VoLTE while Verizon Wireless and AT&T are actively testing the functionality for a rollout later this year. Of course, it’s plausible that iOS 8 support for VoLTE will be pushed back if enough carriers are unable to meet the rollout timeframe.

- Messages:

Messages

Apple is said to be considering adding the ability for Messages threads in iOS 8 to automatically be deleted. The options for auto-deleting of threads on a user’s local device are said to be removal after a month or after a year. The functionality is being integrated in order for the iOS Device storage space to not be clogged up by old Messages threads, which is a common problem among iOS Device users with old backups or dated hardware. The auto-deletion will be optional, so users who never want their threads disappearing have nothing to worry about.

- Notifications:

Notification Center

Notification Center, the translucent drop-down menu for managing alerts may be simplified. In iOS 7, Notification Center includes a “Today” view, “All” Notifications view, and a “Missed” Notifications view. In iOS 8, Apple is considering reducing the panel to solely include the “Today” and “Notifications” views. The new “Notifications” view would combine all notifications with missed notifications, making the overall experience simpler. After acquiring the team behind the app Cue last year, Apple has likely been working on adding additional pertinent information to Notification Center, but it is uncertain if those enhancements will be ready this year for iOS 8.

- TextEdit and Preview:

PreviewTextEdit

Apple is developing versions of the Mac operating system’s Preview and TextEdit applications that are optimized for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The applications are said to not be designed to actually edit PDFs, images, or text documents.

Instead, the apps are built to serve as tools to view Preview and TextEdit files stored in iCloud by OS X. Apple added iCloud synchronization for Preview and TextEdit with OS X Mountain Lion, but has not yet released iOS counterparts to actually view the synchronized content.

The applications are said to still be early in development, but they are being considered for release later in the year. It is currently uncertain, but still possible, if the new pieces of software will be ready to ship with the upcoming iOS 8.

Instead of using fully functional Preview and TextEdit applications on iOS, users will be encouraged to use the PDF management and editing functionality in the free iBooks applicationfrom the App Store and manage other documents via the iWork suite’s word processing application Pages. The apps will also bring improved feature parity between the two Apple operating systems.

- Game Center:

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Sources say that Apple is considering removing the Game Center application from iOS and OS X. Instead of having the (little-used) Game Center app, the functionality will solely be found inside in games that have integrated the social gaming service. Just last year, Apple completely redesigned the Game Center app for iOS 7 to remove the green felt and casino theme from the Scott Forstall era. Recently leaked screenshots did, however, show the Game Center icon.

- Voice Memos:

photo 2 photo 1

As part of the iOS 7 design revamp, the iPhone’s Voice Memos application was completely redesigned. Gone was the fake microphone graphic and added was an interactive waveform. Unfortunately, some users have complained that the redesigned Voice Memos app is difficult to navigate and that editing controls are unclear. With iOS 8, Apple will rectify this problem by improving button placement within the app.

- Performance:

While iOS 7.1 certainly sped up animations and other system functionality, Apple is testing versions of iOS 8 that go even further to improve speed across the operating system. Sources say that Apple is focusing on improving how long it takes photos to be taken with the next-generation iPhone’s hardware components in mind.

- CarPlay:

Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 11.12.22 AM

While iOS 7’s version of CarPlay exclusively works over the Lightning cable, Apple is testing versions of iOS 8 that can conduct CarPlay (in certain vehicles) over WiFi. The lines up with Volvo saying that its CarPlay implementation will work wirelessly in the future. Of course, Apple has been testing WiFi CarPlay for sometime now with iOS 7, so perhaps the functionality will be pushed back once again. iOS 7.1 first unlocked CarPlay capabilities last month.

- Inter-app communication: Apple is said to be working on and testing functionality that would allow apps from the App Store to better communicate. This is known as an “XPC” service in the developer world. An API is being developed for apps to be able to share data. For example, a future photo editing application could have the ability to push the edited content for upload via the Instagram or Facebook apps. The debut of the API has been in development for the past couple of years, and it had been removed from the launch version of iOS 7 last year for unspecified reasons. With that in mind, it is plausible that Apple could, again, choose to hold back the functionality.

OS X 10.10 – Codenamed Syrah:

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OS X 10.10 will be the successor to the current OS X, 10.9 Mavericks. Mavericks focused on power-user features and under-the-hood enhancements to improve hardware performance, battery life, and graphics processing. 10.10, however, will focus on aesthetics. According to sources, Apple Senior VP of Design Jony Ive is leading a “significant” design overhaul for OS X, and the new design will be the operating system’s cornerstone new feature (none of the mockups online, like the one above, are a good indicator of what to expect).

The new design will not be as stark as iOS 7, but it will include many of the flat elements and white textures instead of re-creations of life-like elements. The end-to-end redesign is said to be a top priority at Apple right now, with the specific details about the changes being sworn to extreme secrecy. Apple has been testing new features such as Siri and support for iOS AirDrop compatibility, but it’s unconfirmed if those enhancements will be ready for 10.10. We’ll have more on what to expect from OS X 10.10 soon, so stay tuned.

Hardware Possibilities: 

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To go with the new operating systems, Apple is likely preparing a few new notable pieces of hardware. On the Mac side, Apple seems to be readying a revamped version of the MacBook Air with a ~12-inch Retina display and thinner/lighter chassis. Apple has announced major new Mac initiatives at WWDC the past couple of years, so perhaps Apple has this new MacBook Air up its sleeves for the 2014 conference. Apple is also working on some lower-cost iMacs and standard MacBook Air/Pro updates, but it’s unclear when those are set to debut.

On the iOS side, indications of new hardware are less clear. Apple is currently on an annual life-cycle for updating iOS Devices, so it is fair to assume that the unveilings of the next set of iPhones and iPads will not occur until the fall. With iOS 8′s headline feature being health and fitness tracking software, speculation has arisen that Apple could debut its own fitness/health tracking hardware (iWatch) alongside iOS 8. It’s unclear if Apple is planning to do so, but given the hiring over the past couple of years, anything is possible.

Coverage:

WWDC-2012

WWDC 2014 will be held between June 2nd and June 6th at the Moscone West center in San Francisco, California. The week long conference will include labs and special sessions for developers, but it will likely be kicked off on Monday, June 2nd with a keynote address to officially introduce the aforementioned details about iOS 8, OS X 10.10, and potentially new hardware. As the conference’s start approaches, new information will certainly come to light, and you can find the latest news about Apple’s plans at 9to5Mac. Also stay tuned for live coverage of WWDC and, like we compiled in 2012 and 2013, an updated roundup in the few days before the conference begins.


Filed under: iOS, iOS Devices Tagged: 10.10, 2014, AirDrop, Apple, Federighi, Healthbook, iPad, iPhone, maps, Okemo, Syrah, Tim Cook, Transit, WWDC

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