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3 Years In, a "B" For Tim Cook's Performance at Apple

timothy posted about a month ago | from the apple-polishers dept.

Businesses 90

Cult of Mac has taken a look at the three years since Tim Cook began his job as Apple's CEO, and rates him a "solid B." Cook might be neither as charismatic or volatile as Steve Jobs was, but he's made some interesting moves and statements. One factor (an area in which Cult of Mac gives Cook an A) is employee happiness, something for which Jobs was not always known: Cook’s highest “grade” on this hypothetical report card may come from Apple employees. Though the lanky 53-year-old is reportedly short on small talk, his people skills have earned him a 93 percent approval rating from a sampling of almost 2,000 people who work at Apple on website Glass Door, where anonymous employees can rate their satisfaction with the overall work environment as well as give thumbs up or down for the CEO.

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Stock is at a record high (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47742417)

Apple Stock is at a record high. He did what he was hired to do.

Re: Stock is at a record high (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47742467)

Yes. But he is breaking some important ui design principles.

I was trying to work, when an application I don't consider essential started taking focus of my input devices and stopping me from working.

An incorrect password for a site is not a reason to take focus and interrupt work. It was a very win95 like experience, and immediately damaged my opinion of the OS.

Re: Stock is at a record high (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47742799)

He is the CEO it is the employees who are breaking ui design principles. How much of this is down to him?

The CEO must try new products... (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | about a month ago | (#47744415)

It is the responsibility of the CEO to coordinate the work of all the employees. The CEO must try new products and reject them if they need improvements. Steve Jobs did that.

Re:Stock is at a record high (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47742505)

I think the grading is for the long term outlook and not current performance.
Some of us are "uneasy" about how he is behaving at the present vs Steve Jobs behavior.

To be fair: It will take a couple of years to access his performance.

Re:Stock is at a record high (4, Insightful)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about a month ago | (#47742721)

-1 disagree. SJ was the heart of apple, or the core if you will. He was charasmtatic and a great salesman. At the beginning of apple part 1 and part 2 he had to carry the burden because the company was either small or not functioning well. But cook's apple is a juggernaut with thousands of brilliant and dedicated employees. His strategy is to inspire his people to be great and get out of their way so thereby can do awesome things.

the proof is in there pudding, so to speak. Depending on how you define the market they may or may not be losing a lot of ground to android. The Mac Pro is awesome design but currently a niche product. I like where they're going on software and services, and how their jettisoning old mac apps like iPhoto for lightweight apps like photos originally from iOS. Stock prices are a poor indicator of long term positive decisions, but a good indicator of bad times when the stock is in the he crapper, which it's not.

let's check in again in a couple years. Two long-term dangers: first, he's been getting by on a "great products in the pipeline" story for a bit, and it's time to put up or shut up. A lot of people will be really disappointed if there's not iwatch this year. Second, so much of their revenue is based on just a handful of products, and if the market suddenly shifts against their favor or if they release a dud, then there will be heck to pay.

Re:Stock is at a record high (4, Interesting)

rolfwind (528248) | about a month ago | (#47743875)

I agree. Apple still is coasting on Steve Job's risks. Coasting is fine in a stactic market, not in one full with change.

What happened to AppleTV? Oh, netflix and amazon and rokubox all claimed that pie because Apple was too stodgy to move on it.

Steve Jobs took chances. Where does Tim Cooke take chances? All I see is him betting on sure things and doing things for good PR.

Apple is the new Sony of the 90s. What happens when the tablet market is saturated and declines? What happens if major phone networks start allowing people to bring their existing phones and getting a discount, breaking the 2 year upgrade cycle?

Re:Stock is at a record high (3, Interesting)

guruevi (827432) | about a month ago | (#47744017)

AppleTV is alive and well. It's a piece of hardware like the Roku. As far as digital receivers go, AppleTV is the largest segment in the market and at 56% market share it's eclipsing all of it's competitors (Roku, Boxee, ChromeCast). The reason is simple, it offers everything I need and more and is truly plug and play (unlike either Boxee or Chrome) and doesn't nickel-and-dime the customer for channels like Roku does.

Apple never got into streaming movies/TV shows due to licensing costs. Netflix came way before Apple started doing movies on iTunes and Apple is happy to provide the device Netflix runs on.

Re:Stock is at a record high (4, Insightful)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a month ago | (#47744961)

Apple themselves are all but ignoring it, and have for its entire life. It could be so much more, but they let it rot. They dont even expose the bluetooth module so you can get headset audio from it......

Re:Stock is at a record high (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a month ago | (#47744297)

Stock prices are a poor indicator of long term positive decisions ...

... but still better than any alternative.

Re:Stock is at a record high (1)

bbsalem (2784853) | about a month ago | (#47751333)

Don't agree. There seems to be even more of a disconnect between what market analysts say and how well an industry or company is doing. This is made worse by financializing, paying too much attention to quarterly bottom line and discouraging strategic vision. It is very much possible for management at a company to pay too much attention to what analysts think. It may be that if a significant number of a company's customers are banks and financial institutions that the management is much more vulnerable to the whims of the analysts. Apple has a much stronger consumer base than any similar computer companies that depended on sales to the finance sector. Maybe this listening too much to analysts is not a cause but just a sign of the real problem which is lack of imagination in the management of the company. If I contrast Steve Jobs with John Scully, it seems that the latter, being primarily a marketer, was more inclined to want to please analysts and industry pundits than think creatively about what he can persuade consumers to want. Steve Jobs had a vision of what his customers wanted and went about selling them to buy it. He was a rare combination of technical and marketing ability that would be hard to match in the run of the mill business school graduate who is outer directed and short on creative thinking. I do not know if Tin Cook is resting on Jobs' laurels or has good ideas of his own. Apple seems to be doing OK so far,

Re:Stock is at a record high (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47747369)

A lot of people will be really disappointed if there's not iwatch this year. .

A lot of people? in a very niche market of Apple products? So in other words, not very many. Apple is what, less than 20% of the world market. Of that, how many actually want an iWatch? Of those that want one, or even know the rumors about it, those that will be disappointed about no news is quite small. Samsung and others have had those devices for quite a while now and while fairly nice, they haven't gained much of a market. It's a money losing effort. /Apple user

Re:Stock is at a record high (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47754181)

A lot of people will be really disappointed if there's not iwatch this year.

Those "people" will consist primarily of early entrants and their customers, who would see their bets legitimized with Apple's entry. The general population are not terribly interested in wearable computing right now, and will continue to be like that until somebody--Apple or otherwise--show them how to do it right, which may be this year, next year, or never.

Re:Stock is at a record high (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47776873)

and how their jettisoning old mac apps like iPhoto for lightweight apps like photos originally from iOS

I don't think that's what happened, yes they are changing the name from iPhoto to Photos like on iOS, but the Application is actually getting more powerful by rolling in features from Aperture, which they decided to stop developing.

Re:Stock is at a record high (1)

ffejie (779512) | about a month ago | (#47742565)

Mod parent up. There is quite simply no other relevant measure of a CEO for a publicly traded company. These people are hired by the board, who have a responsibility to the shareholders, who want exactly one thing: long term appreciation of their assets.

AAPL is at a record high, up 99% since he took over. NASDAQ is up 93%, S&P500 up 77%. He's beating the market with the world's largest market cap. This is extraordinarily difficult.

I'll give him an A-, because GOOG is beating AAPL, up 137% in the same time period - and while there is a lot of difference between the two businesses, they seem to be the closest competitor. He's beating Samsung (83%), MSFT (87%), and HPQ (56%).

Re:Stock is at a record high (4, Insightful)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about a month ago | (#47742623)

I'm not sure why Apple needs to enhance shareholder value. Apple hasn't raised capital on the markets for years. Apple needs to be profitable, Apple needs to be an attractive platform for developers. Apple needs to be perceived, by its customers, as qualitatively superior to Android and Windows. But enhancing shareholder value should be a side effect of those more important goals, not a goal in itself.

Re:Stock is at a record high (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47742779)

The company is owned by share holders who elect the board which hires the CEO. Of course the company is going to focus on shareholder value above all else.

Re:Stock is at a record high (4, Informative)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about a month ago | (#47742975)

Tim Cook once said: “If you want me to do things only for ROI reasons, you should get out of this stock."

Besides, your faith in boards is disturbing. [nytimes.com]

Re:Stock is at a record high (1)

ffejie (779512) | about a month ago | (#47743245)

Apple the corporation exists to enhance shareholder value. All corporations do.

Apple doesn't design attractive platforms for developers for entertainment, or because they love changing the world. They do it to increase shareholder value. Being perceived, by its customers, as qualitatively superior to Android and Windows, is a means to the end of increasing shareholder value.

Re:Stock is at a record high (1)

ultranova (717540) | about a month ago | (#47745223)

Apple the corporation exists to enhance shareholder value. All corporations do.

You do realize that every legal entity that counts as a person under the law is a corporation, right? This includes such non-profit entities as cities and towns.

Apple doesn't design attractive platforms for developers for entertainment, or because they love changing the world. They do it to increase shareholder value.

That's probably the biggest threat facing Apple in the post-Jobs era. There seems to be a rather ironic trend that those corporations which focus on "enhancing shareholder value" are worse at it than those which focus on delivering goods and services.

Re:Stock is at a record high (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47742637)

Good for apple, they still have people on the board with a long-term vision, and a sense to keep carrying it out well. fuck Carl Icahn and his like who seek only to extract money out of companies. He's a giant parasitic financial troll. A corporate knacker, glue maker. A guy coming to town to fuck everyones' wifes/spouses to "make those relationships better" (and getting you to pay for it).

On the other hand, seeing a Carl Icahn increasing holdings in one's company tends to at least focus the board's/management's attention, for better or worse. Kind of like Gordon Ramsey showing up at your hotel or restaraunt seeking to help it out...

Re:Stock is at a record high (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47742753)

Three years is "long term" now?

Re:Stock is at a record high (1)

Shadowmist (57488) | about a month ago | (#47743547)

Compared to focus on quarterly balance sheets... yeah.

Re:Stock is at a record high (2)

lucm (889690) | about a month ago | (#47742585)

The stock has been a roller-coaster ride over the last 3 years. The real good thing that he did was the deal with IBM to at last set foot in the enterprise. For a very long time a lot of people have been using iPhones at the office but most of the time it was in BYOD organizations. If the Apple-IBM thing can move forward (and if Apple can get a grip on reality, price-wise) it could be a new era for Apple.

Enterprise customers can't be dazzled by marketing or fashion trends like the typical Apple crowd. And while people keep talking about the wonderful app store and its billions of apps, the truth is that a business won't run on angry birds and yos. Hopefully Apple will get a clue and start using its factories to deliver cost-effective devices on which enterprise apps can run. Take things where Blackberry left them and move forward.

Apple is not a front-runner anymore in design. Samsung, Microsoft, Dell - everyone has good designers nowadays and lawsuits aside, all smartphones are user-friendly enough. Apple should really use its position and deep pockets to set foot in the enterprise before they fade away.

Re:Stock is at a record high (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a month ago | (#47744969)

Dont get your hopes up for an Enterprise Apple. They have always dipped their toe, but they have never stepped into the water.

Re:Stock is at a record high (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47742593)

Ah, you mean the stock is a few pennies higher than its all time high, from two years ago. So do you give him a D for driving the stock price down 50% for those two years?

Re:Stock is at a record high (1)

Plumpaquatsch (2701653) | about a month ago | (#47743279)

Ah, you mean the stock is a few pennies higher than its all time high, from two years ago. So do you give him a D for driving the stock price down 50% for those two years?

No, he gives him an A because the stock never fell lower than when he took over.

Stock price is not a be all and end all (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a month ago | (#47745509)

Apple Stock is at a record high. He did what he was hired to do

I too own stocks of corporations and also am major stock owner of several companies

Stock price for me is not a be all and end all - for me, the future of the company is much more important than the _current_ stock price

For this, Tim Cook has failed, and has failed miserably

Re:Stock is at a record high (1)

rtb61 (674572) | about a month ago | (#47745559)

Cough, cough stock buybacks do not count for shit https://www.apple.com/pr/libra... [apple.com] . All you are doing is using existing profits to reduce the number of shares, so reducing capital to artificially inflate share price. This is normally done when executives have no idea what to do with failing numbers mounting and still want a bonus.

Apple is a marketing company and eventually inevitably the marketing goes stale and the consumer fad fails and then it is forced to compete on product qualities and price which of course butcher profit margins which hammers share price and hence requires stock buy backs to hide the damage.

Oh dahhhlings! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47742423)

Isn't he just faaaabulous!

Re:Oh dahhhlings! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47742477)

You seem to know him better than everyone else.
How is he as your lover?

Stay save, use condoms butt pirate. High five.

53-year-0ld? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47742427)

How l33t of you. Good work editors.

Re:53-year-0ld? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47742773)

Must have typed from a MBP as the O is underneath and offset from the zero key. 0o0o0o0o00ooo0oo0ooo0000o

Cook's Long Term View/Actions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47742539)

It is up to Cook as the CEO with the board to set the long term product goals and preparation and that is never going to be revealed to the public.

Judging a CEO on his first 2-3 years is arguably too short a time frame to have meaningful results. As an example, how many years of development did it take to put the iPhone onto the market in Mid 2007? How many?

We won't know the success of these longer term goals until we see the next few years of product/service releases and get nearer to 2020.

Re:Cook's Long Term View/Actions (2)

Daniel Oom (2826737) | about a month ago | (#47742789)

I guess he'll just continue Apple on its present course, just like Steve Ballmer did at Microsoft.

Re:Cook's Long Term View/Actions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47753783)

Cook has been an excellent business manager, and has had decent launches of products under his watch. The problem is they had their genesis under Jobs. The gadget market is dying out, as there isn't much left to do with computers of any size anymore. Jobs made Apple a gadget company because he realized the limitations of laptops and desktops as a core product, and took the risks to start the iWorld. Cook plays nicey nice with the staff, but inspiring requires focus and determination, along with intelligent and usable design. This is where Jobs excelled, despite his temper. Cook has plenty of happy designers, but nothing new in the pipeline that breaks the mold in tech. Creative minds need to be pushed and pulled to make things that people want and will actually use. The Ipad was the last innovation, borrowed from promises that never came out of the Windows 98 world, mainly because the hardware and software weren't up to snuff in those days. What else can you do with electronics after the Iworld ends? This is the challenge that Cook faces. He'll have to put up soon. The investors will bail quickly if there isn't something to get them excited, and that's a tall order for every tech company. We'll see if the tech sector begins to consume itself soon. There will be a lot of casualties because there isn't much innovation of late, and if Apple doesn't take the lead, watch out.

Edit please (0)

seyyah (986027) | about a month ago | (#47742571)

Though the lanky 53-year-0ld is reportedly short on small talk, his people skills have earned him a 93 percent approval rating ...

"Th0u9h the 14nky 53-ye4r-01d is rep0rted1y sh0rt 0n sm411 t41k, his pe0p1e ski11s h4ve e4rned him 4 g3 percent 4ppr0val r4tin9."

Probably still some room for improvement, but it's a start!

Re:Edit please (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47742591)

"Th0u9h 73h [sic] 14nky 53-y34r-01d 15 r3p0rt3d1y 5h0r7 0n 5m411 741k, h15 p30p13 5ki115 h4v3 34rn3d h1m 4 gE p3rcen7 4ppr0v41 r4t1n9."

As a non-fanboy I like the Cook Apple better. (5, Insightful)

pecosdave (536896) | about a month ago | (#47742575)

I use Apple products, but I'm by no means a fanboy, as my signature suggest (fanboys should NEVER have mod-points). I support Apple products at work, use a 27" iMac at work (which I rather like, and I've put TotalTerminal and other utils on to make it more Linux-like and comfortable for me), and I've got a work iPad 2, all of which I like.

I'm actually a Linux/Android guy.

Why I like Apple better under cook:

Less lawsuits. They're slowly settling/arbitrating old ones and filing less new ones. I developed a deep hatred of Apple under Jobs due to his temper-tantrums and deep ingrained need to shit in everyone else's punch bowls.

I'm seeing less new intenentional handicaps of their own products, and some of the old ones are getting less rigid (iOS is becoming slightly less user-hostile).

They've finally declared hardware the source of their profits and allowed free upgrades to the OS. (I refuse to use the nomenclature of "Free Operating System" that's been used here on Slashdot too damned many time to describe Mavericks since it's still tied to a mandatory purchase to run it)

What Apple still needs to work on:

Drop all user hostility - make so people can release source code for iOS apps they write. Stop attempting to strong-arm exclusivity out of the iOS platform.

ADOPT FRIGGIN NORMAL CABLES FOR YOUR IOS DEVICES
USB-C connectors are on their way, go with those. All the advantages of your Lightning cables but not "just ours".

Give me an editable path bar I can enable (it can be off by default) like every other OS. As a tech moving around yoru file system is more of a pain than it's worth. Don't spout anything at me about using muCommander or something, I'm a tech, I support other peoples stuff and I don't want to install crap or run utilities that have to be imported somehow every time I sit at a different system.

Drop the artificial restrictions on OS updates "when it was manufactured" isn't a good yard-stick for install eligibility and everyone knows it. Those Mac Pros that are six months too old to run Mavericks are more than capable of doing so and everyone knows it, it just makes you look like a bunch of pricks by barring install.

Re:As a non-fanboy I like the Cook Apple better. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47742745)

Oddly enough I have a similar attitude to Apple products, I have them but Unixify them to make them more useful to me.

Not sure we're both looking at the same Apple.

>> Lawsuits

The Samsung one was big enough for a while. Don't see it dying down though...

>> I'm seeing less new intenentional handicaps of their own products, and some of the old ones are getting less rigid (iOS is becoming slightly less user-hostile).

Well I was looking for a new Mac Pro to replace my elderly but functional Mac Pro. I wanted a similar sort of spec with the ability for me to shove my hard disks in, put my own monitors on (I use three 22" for development as they're cheap and easy to support on an old Mac Pro) and generally have the same experience I had before but in something faster. So scratch out the iMacs, no real expandability and I have to use multiple monitors, scratch out the Mac Mini, had one, nice piece of kit but not big enough, no easy way to add multiple monitors, a new Mac Pro. I like the CPU options, memory is a bit miserly but I can up that, ah! Hard disk options, external Thunderbolt, dodgy USB 3 or errr.... nothing. Also the internal hard disk was limited to a 256GB SSD. What the fuck is that good for? I want lots of disk all in the same place so I can do lots of database and video work. I don't want to drop another £600 to £1,000 enclosure to get going.

In the end I built my own Hack to the specs I wanted and it works very very well. No real limitations for me (AFAIK). I would have loved to buy a decent up to date Mac Pro but I wanted expandability I can afford. Not something I have to sell a kidney for.

iOS is still pretty hostile, loosening the noose around our neck is kinda nice BUT thats all it is. You still can't easily move data around, iOS still ties you to a single PC through that piece of shite known as iTunes for backups.

>> Free OS.

Well Apple finally realised that they make their money on hardware, but this realisation has ensure the dumb down of their decent products. Final Cut 7 to Final Cut Pro X was a nightmare for two years, Aperture is being dropped for a new all singing replacement that nobody has ever seen. Pages and Numbers - Two of the biggest wastes of bits this side of, well anything, Cook has dumbed the software down and down and down to make it more like iOS and the quality of the software is dropping through the floor. They used to make decent server hardware and software, dumped the Xserves and the piece of shite that is OS X Server should have been aborted at birth. So bug ridden it makes MS SBS look really good. We keep an old server going solely to run OS X Server for Snow Leopard or something as it was the last decent version. Don't even start me on NFS and how utterly broken it is, AFP is being dropped, sadly SMB and SMB2 support in 10.9 is pretty crap, we can get 2 -2.5x better performance out of the same hardware running Windows than OS X.

>> ADOPT FRIGGIN NORMAL CABLES FOR YOUR IOS DEVICES

Agreed.

>> Drop the artificial restrictions on OS updates

Agreed. Mavericks is easy to install on a 32bit Mac, and reliable. If the hacker community can do, why not Apple.

My view on Cook is a B- or C (more a C). He's released nothing that new, nothing ground breaking, a lot of the stuff that came out on his watch was actually started on Jobs. Apple still have the same arrogant attitude as before.

Not impressed with Cook, mind you Jobs was a megalomaniac so perhaps its a start.

Re:As a non-fanboy I like the Cook Apple better. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47742829)

I'm only interested in a rather limited part of Apple's product offerings, so for me Cook is just the guy who killed development of the Mac Mini. It's now the saddest piece of abandonware among all Mac models still being sold.

Re:As a non-fanboy I like the Cook Apple better. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47754193)

Maybe we're talking about different Apples here, but the Apple I know has always lagged behind in updating Mac mini relative to other models.

signed,
Mac mini 2012 owner

Re:As a non-fanboy I like the Cook Apple better. (1)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about a month ago | (#47742861)

a new Mac Pro. I like the CPU options, memory is a bit miserly but I can up that, ah! Hard disk options, external Thunderbolt, dodgy USB 3 or errr.... nothing. Also the internal hard disk was limited to a 256GB SSD. What the fuck is that good for? I want lots of disk all in the same place so I can do lots of database and video work. I don't want to drop another £600 to £1,000 enclosure to get going.

I don't get this. You can daisy chain external hard drives and external monitors to your hearts content. Not sure what you mean by £600 hard drive enclosures, but I think you're doing it wrong.

Re:As a non-fanboy I like the Cook Apple better. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47745935)

You can only daisy chain Thunderbolt enclosures or Thunderbolt Monitors to your hearts content. A decent thunderbolt enclosure is £600 from Pegasus. The only monitors you can daisy chain are Thunderbolt monitors. The only people who make them are Apple.

I don't consider USB 3 and the issues with disks on that a valid and sensible option, though I know other people do.

I put two graphics cards in my Mac pro and it drives three monitors effortlessly. My monitors are good quality monitors but not 27" Thunderbolt monitors, I don't have the space for them. This was cost effective and works very well. You simply can't do that with the new Mac Pro, its all Apple kit or nothing now. As with many people who do development, I have different systems, I have a Linux box and a couple of other Macs. I easily share my monitors using a Raritan keyboard monitor switch. That option disappears with Thunderbolt. Apple wants me to get closer and closer, but I want to share my equipment between my systems. In the end building my own hack was the best option, though I wanted to buy the Mac Pro [ badly :)]. Another lost sale, though I don't suspect Tim will lose any sleep.

Rob.

Re: As a non-fanboy I like the Cook Apple better. (1)

pecosdave (536896) | about a month ago | (#47755369)

FYI, my company recently purchased a half dozen 4K Dell monitors for our Mac users. They usually growl at us when we walk in with a piece of Dell equipment (since most of our users are fanboys) but are praising us by the time we leave. They are chainable, I discovered this by plugging the computer into the out port by mistake. As far as I know chaining is part of the Display Port spec, and there's no such thing as a Thunderbolt monitor, but I've been wrong before.

They were about $500 each, way less than Apple

Re:As a non-fanboy I like the Cook Apple better. (3, Insightful)

DigiShaman (671371) | about a month ago | (#47742807)

ADOPT FRIGGIN NORMAL CABLES FOR YOUR IOS DEVICES
USB-C connectors are on their way, go with those. All the advantages of your Lightning cables but not "just ours".

A multi-billion dollar company. You know, Apple could chuck the community a bone here and open up their lightning cable specs free from royalties. I prefer that design over USB-C.

Re:As a non-fanboy I like the Cook Apple better. (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a month ago | (#47746561)

You know, Apple could chuck the community a bone here and open up their lightning cable specs free from royalties.

It would never catch on because it doesn't support what existing Micro USB connectors do, and what other manufacturers already use. For example, there is no way to do uncompressed 1080p video over it, and phones were doing that three or four years ago so are not likely to drop back now. The cost of the Apple video solution is prohibitive as well, when an MHL adapter is â5.

Lightning doesn't seem to support USB peripherals either. Not sure if it is an inherent limitation of the design or just that Apple don't use them, but many Android devices can make use of USB flash drives, card readers, game controllers, keyboards, mice and the like.

I prefer that design over USB-C.

How can you say that when you haven't even seen a USB-C connector in the flesh, let alone tried it out for a while?

Re:As a non-fanboy I like the Cook Apple better. (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a month ago | (#47748439)

It would never catch on because it doesn't support what existing Micro USB connectors do, and what other manufacturers already use. For example, there is no way to do uncompressed 1080p video over it, and phones were doing that three or four years ago so are not likely to drop back now. The cost of the Apple video solution is prohibitive as well, when an MHL adapter is Ã5.

Lightning doesn't seem to support USB peripherals either. Not sure if it is an inherent limitation of the design or just that Apple don't use them, but many Android devices can make use of USB flash drives, card readers, game controllers, keyboards, mice and the like.

micro USB connectors DO NOT DO VIDEO.

MHL and SlimPort and every other standard does. No, those connectors are not compatible with each other, but they do allow you to fit a microUSB plug into them. They are not, however, micro USB. That'll be like saying Apple invents a new connector, but you can use micro USB with it. It just means the connector was made compatible, but if Apple puts in Firewire/thunderbolt/whatever, it doesn't mean micro USB inherits those properties.

USB peripherals are supported by lightning just fine. You can connect cameras, memory cards, even USB DACs to an iOS device just fine - you do need the "Camera Connection Kit" which converts your 30 pin or Lightning port to a USB host port, to which you can plug in a camera, memory card reader or flash drive, or USB audio device to. Or keyboard, if you wanted.

And it's taken long enough for USB to get to the point where you can plug it in without caring for orientation. USB micro aren't immune to this - USB micro AB ports generally are reversible because of their godawful design. And most devices should be using microAB ports instead of just microB and special adapters to make it an A port. It's just the user experience is so terrible, and it makes it incompatible with MHL and SlimPort (which only are compatible with micro B cables).

Re: As a non-fanboy I like the Cook Apple better. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47742823)

>Drop all user hostility - make so
>people can release source code for
>iOS apps they write.

That's totally possible. Apple does not prevent you from doing so. It's the GPLv3 that is causing trouble. Not Apple.

>Stop attempting to strong-arm
>exclusivity out of the iOS platform.

They don't. It's the decision of the devs to publish on other platforms. Like it or not. But iOS is still more profitable than all other mobile platforms.

>ADOPT FRIGGIN NORMAL CABLES >FOR YOUR IOS DEVICES

Hopefully not. Apples cables and ports and capable of much more than USB.

>USB-C connectors are on their way,

2 years after Lightning was introduced.

>go with those. All the advantages of
>your Lightning cables but not "just
>ours".

Wrong. Even USB-C is not capable of everything Lightning does. It's dual sided. Yes. But still only with 4 pins instead of the 8 pins of Lightning. The pins are needed for a reason.

>Give me an editable path bar I can >enable (it can be off by default) like >every other OS.

Shift-Command-G

>Drop the artificial restrictions on
>OS updates "when it was
>manufactured" isn't a good yard-
>stick for install eligibility and >everyone knows it.

If an OS is 64 bit only and your CPU isn't fit for it (everything Those Mac Pros that are six
>months too old to run Mavericks
>are more than capable of doing so
>and everyone knows it, it just
>makes you look like a bunch of
>pricks by barring install.

It's about focusing resources. They might be able to run it. But each target system requires testing in dozens of configurations. And causes support tickets if something goes astray. There is a fundamental difference between OSX and Windows, which would probably let you install everything just to find out it's shit and too slow.

Re: As a non-fanboy I like the Cook Apple better. (1)

pecosdave (536896) | about a month ago | (#47763821)

Fanboy, I don't here any really we'll reasoned arguments here, just a bunch of Apple defense. Are you telling me we should go back to COM and LPT ports because those extra wires are there for a reason? Are you going to tell me a comparability checker program is impossible because of support costs? Are you going to tell me the "at your own risk against our advisory" upgrades like the Android community does would break Apple?

Go use your phone with the hole in the cover so the logo shows somewhere else, real tech people are having a conversation here.

Re:As a non-fanboy I like the Cook Apple better. (5, Insightful)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about a month ago | (#47742833)

ADOPT FRIGGIN NORMAL CABLES FOR YOUR IOS DEVICES USB-C connectors are on their way, go with those. All the advantages of your Lightning cables but not "just ours".

The industry wouldn't bother with USB-c if apple hadn't made lightning. Otherwise regular USB would be "good enough" like it has been for the past decade. Aside from apple the entire electronics industry is about commodity components and a "good enough" attitude about everything.

Re:As a non-fanboy I like the Cook Apple better. (2, Informative)

LordLucless (582312) | about a month ago | (#47744847)

Yeah, because USB hadn't already gone through three generations of improvements and refinements before Apple's messianic connector forced the industry to start improving again.

Re:As a non-fanboy I like the Cook Apple better. (1)

pecosdave (536896) | about a month ago | (#47746863)

Otherwise regular USB would be "good enough" like it has been for the past decade.

I don't know how you can look at a Mini USB 3.0 and say that. It's nearly as wide as the old style Apple connector, no USB really did need a Thunderbolt or better treatment, and I hope they stick with it for a while.

USB-C might not be on the way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47743149)

The ruler of Wikipedia has stated that he will do everything in his power to destroy that connector. He has already cleansed his site of information about it. Just do a search, and you'll see how much he hates the connector. There is only one sentence about this new connector and certainly no images. Considering the power and influence of that site, we may not be allowed to have the USB-C connectors.

Re: USB-C might not be on the way (1)

pecosdave (536896) | about a month ago | (#47763837)

That's like saying the power of MTV will keep the next Garth Brooks album from coming out because MTV isn't for country.

Re:As a non-fanboy I like the Cook Apple better. (1)

radarskiy (2874255) | about a month ago | (#47743831)

" All the advantages of your Lightning cables"
Except for being actually available.

" As a tech moving around yoru file system is more of a pain than it's worth"

"open /path/to/show/in/Finder" from a shell. Or just use the shell and skip the Finder.

"Drop the artificial restrictions on OS updates "when it was manufactured" isn't a good yard-stick for install eligibility and everyone knows it. "

a) If they let you install then people will complain that Apple is deliberately showing their machine down to try to force them to buy a new mode, even if there is no measurable showdown. This is not a theoretical scenario, since it already happens with systems that are in the "artificial restrictions".
b) If they try to be more precise in their definition of an upgradeable system then people will complain that they couldn't figure out if their system was upgradeable or not.

Re:As a non-fanboy I like the Cook Apple better. (1)

pecosdave (536896) | about a month ago | (#47746889)

The thing about these UNIX based system in the modern era - system requirements can actually go down between releases. Draw lines where they need to be, with real specs, not age. I'm running a five year old system at home more powerful than a lot of new stuff, it just takes a little more electricity to run that quad core 64bit Athlon 64 with 8 GB of RAM than if I were to build it today. Apples hardware in the Mac Pro line of the same era had the same type of power my home built system does. Age of hardware makes little to no sense, you're just a fanboy defending your religious icon.

Dare I say it - they could adopt something along the lines of the Windows Score Microsoft has been using. Run the "score card" app on your hardware before upgrading to see if upgrading is for you.

Re:As a non-fanboy I like the Cook Apple better. (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | about a month ago | (#47744075)

Drop the artificial restrictions on OS updates "when it was manufactured" isn't a good yard-stick for install eligibility and everyone knows it. Those Mac Pros that are six months too old to run Mavericks are more than capable of doing so and everyone knows it, it just makes you look like a bunch of pricks by barring install.

I don't know about MBPros too old to run Mavericks. I do have a MacBook that runs Mavericks. In fact, I have one of the (very) short run of Aluminum MacBooks that was created in late 2008. Pretty much the oldest MacBooks that runs Mavericks. And the OS is slow as all heck. The system limps by, but I really need to get new hardware to make much use of it.

I can't imagine a hardware version older than that that's capable but Apple won't allow. Likely more pain than it's worth unless you're running only text-mode or headless apps.

Re:As a non-fanboy I like the Cook Apple better. (1)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | about a month ago | (#47744347)

Give me an editable path bar I can enable

Command+Tab > Tab to Finder / Command + SHIFT + G

Re:As a non-fanboy I like the Cook Apple better. (1)

pecosdave (536896) | about a month ago | (#47746899)

I know about this, and I use it, it's how I bring up /etc. Still, a royal pain in comparison to say, Windows 95 B.

Re:As a non-fanboy I like the Cook Apple better. (1)

Plumpaquatsch (2701653) | about a month ago | (#47751471)

I know about this, and I use it, it's how I bring up /etc. Still, a royal pain in comparison to say, Windows 95 B.

That's about the only thing where W95 is better - and barely at that.

Re:As a non-fanboy I like the Cook Apple better. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47754217)

As an old school Unix guy, I can't resist asking: why the hell would you even want to browse /etc, of all things, from the Finder rather than the command line?

Re:As a non-fanboy I like the Cook Apple better. (1)

pecosdave (536896) | about a month ago | (#47762177)

I find dragging and dropping the my Cups folder to our new systems is the easiest way to setup printers. I've run into some issues with scripting for it on a Mac. I'm sure I could work through it, but that would take a lot of time I don't have.

Re:As a non-fanboy I like the Cook Apple better. (1)

garote (682822) | about a month ago | (#47754309)

Actually, "those Mac Pros" do not contain a 64-bit EFI. The choice was not arbitrary. Apple decided not to deal with the complication of driving a 32-bit EFI with an exclusively 64-bit kernel.

Now, you could still perhaps make the case that since Apple has very deep pockets, they could just throw more engineering time at the problem and do that support anyway. In fact, one dedicated hacker out there managed to create a replacement EFI interface for Mavericks that simply translates most of the vital 64-bit EFI calls to their 32-bit equivalents, allowing the OS to run on a Mac Pro 1.1 with very nearly no problems. (There are some sleep-wake issues with custom configurations for example.) If one hacker can do that, why couldn't Apple do it? He even posted the source code for the tool. I used it myself for about 6 months, until I saved up the 500 bucks to upgrade to a used 5.1 instead.

But again, the choice was not arbitrary. Most of development is testing, and it's not just a 32-bit EFI they would need to test for. They would need to test and debug Mavericks on every variation of the Mac Pro 1.1 with every combination of add-on peripheral, video card, RAM size, etc. Including older versions of the bluetooth module hardware, wifi module hardware, ATA bus, etc. That means more bugs, and more of the core developers' attention diverted from current products.

Plus, Mac Pro users may be the most technologically savvy of their entire userbase, but they are not the tastemakers and evangelists of the OS X platform any more. (I'm pretty sure that role is held by Macbook Air-using college students.) Apple isn't under much pressure to cater to us.

Oh also, you want an editable path bar on the stock OS? Type command-shift-U, then T, then command-O. Enjoy. ;)

Re:As a non-fanboy I like the Cook Apple better. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47777323)

They've finally declared hardware the source of their profits and allowed free upgrades to the OS

Historically, Apple always provided the OS upgrades for free. It was only when Jobs returned in the late 90's that they started monetizing upgrades either. I haven't checked for a year or so, but last time I looked into it, you could still download the old Apple II, Apple II GS, and Mac OS up to version 7.6 or 8.x from their site. And, I agree the switch back to free OS upgrade is appreciated.

Re:As a non-fanboy I like the Cook Apple better. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47777353)

Not sure if this is what you mean, but you can use the "Go to Folder..." option in the Finder's Go menu (keyboard shortcut Command+Shift+G) to navigate to folders/directories on the computer or mounted volumes.

A better human being than jobs ever was. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47742635)

Gonna bet that this guy would one-up the competition and instead of writing a book about himself so his kids could get to know him better, he would actually SPEND TIME with his family.

Fuck jobs. People like him are a plague on this earth.

Innovation (4, Insightful)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | about a month ago | (#47742855)

How many years in until Cook finally produces an innovative product? For the past three years, it's been all about belatedly adopting Android features. This fall, it will be the bigger screens Android phones have already had for years.

Re:Innovation (4, Funny)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a month ago | (#47742939)

He's about to release the iPhone Galaxy next month.

Galaxy, even the names a clone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47745371)

Ironic that the name is a clone. Samsung Galaxy S....

It's pathetic, he needs to get in there and find those new ideas. If they don't come from him, they come from within Apple, but the current incremental tweaks are not good.

Re:Innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47742957)

Bullshit. They have not been adapting Android features. They haven't been adding any features at all. To accuse them of copying is giving this Cook jerk too much credit. He cleaned house of experienced developers to cut costs, and now he can't get a damn thing done. Microsoft is in the same position. On my team, the four out of the nine best guys were laid-off. Microsoft management hates competent people because they're a long-term threat to their own jobs. My wife is dying of cancer and I have four adopted kids so I'm no threat so I got to keep my job since I'm constantly late, have to leave early, and have trouble staying awake in meetings. According to my friends at Apple, including two that worked for over a decade at Microsoft, Cook is working hard to try to emulate Microsoft's culture of ineffectiveness. Getting rid of people because they're expensive just means the guys left are less motivated. They know the Microsoft-style reward for hard work is the unemployment line.

Re:Innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47745701)

Hey, sorry about your wife. Glad you have your priorities straight, though. Family first.

Re:Innovation (1)

TClevenger (252206) | about a month ago | (#47745663)

I wonder if any of the "innovations" from the last three years were his anyway. I would presume that Jobs would have 3-5 years of projects and products in the pipeline, and maybe more if he knew he would be leaving the company soon. So are we still working out of Jobs' notebook, or has Cook started actually calling the shots creatively?

Innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47746065)

A tablet at $499 would be his most innovative product. While Jobs conceived, Ive designed, it was Cook that built it. Before it was released everyone sort of new it was coming and everyone thought the price was going to be $999. So other manufacturers were designing tablets to be priced at $799 and $899. When the iPad was released it was as if someone dropped a bomb in the supply chain. Specifications and contracts had to be rewritten because Apple released something good and it was, relatively, cheap. No one had a comparable tablet for over a year.

Man, I have no idea what you want from that compan (1)

garote (682822) | about a month ago | (#47754411)

Man, I have no idea what you want from that company.

Take for example the laptops. Under Big Steve's tenure - which everybody is using as an assumed judgement against Cook - Apple laptops got lighter, much faster, acquired new ports, higher resolution screens, more comfortable sizing, way better battery life, magnetic hinges, laser-drilled microphone ports and power lights, tiny built-in webcams, and a huge raft of software innovation like automatic backups, global search, and ... "widgets".

But they were still LAPTOPS.

Cook is replacing a CEO who was a worldwide icon who died at the height of his power. He's doing a damn good job in an insanely challenging position. But if all the stuff I listed above had happened under Cook's watch, you'd probably defecate on it, and point out that Apple was not first-to-market with ANY of those innovations.

Consider what's happened with iPhones during Cook's brief tenure. They've gotten lighter, faster, acquired new ports, more comfortable sizing, better battery life, will soon have higher resolution screens, and this year saw a pretty big raft of software innovation. Sound familiar? Was Apple first-to-market with ANY of it?

Go on, keep griping that it's still A PHONE.
Keep comparing them to Android phones, as if those were even a cohesive set of products. Keep repeating tired history.

You seem to want an entirely new product category, that is also wildly successful, and also completely rearranges an industry and becomes a cultural phenomenon. Did I say "want"? No, that's the wrong word. You seem to feel you are entitled to it, and that if Apple doesn't keep delivering these miracles like clockwork, it's a company of has-beens. Get off your high-horse.

hmm.. (1)

buddyglass (925859) | about a month ago | (#47743027)

It bugs me that we're using words like "hip" and "cool" to describe programming languages. That anyone would choose to learn (or use) a language on the basis of it being "hip" is dumb. I'm looking at you, Ruby.

Re:hmm.. (1)

buddyglass (925859) | about a month ago | (#47743031)

Know what else is irritating? Posting on the wrong thread. Doh.

Re:hmm.. (1)

Windwraith (932426) | about a month ago | (#47743153)

For a minute there I thought "Hey, I thought I had closed the tab with the Java story". You devil, you. Tricked me out.

An F for not buying Waze (2)

heteromonomer (698504) | about a month ago | (#47743237)

Seriously, that single purchase would have made Apple maps superior to everything Google Maps offered till then, and way better than any GPS even today. Couldn't spare some change eh apple? As an iPhone user I constantly find myself using Google Maps. Apple maps on its best day can't hold a candle to where Google Maps was three years ago. And now after buying Waze and integrating it only half-way, Google Maps is already miles ahead. Buying Beats instead of something everybody would use every day. Yeah, smart move, Apple.

Re: An F for not buying Waze (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47743823)

Waze works properly only in 13 countries. Apple operates worldwide. Apple bought half a dozen of map companies.

Armchair CEOs without any insight, knowledge or experience. You gotta live them.

Re:An F for not buying Waze (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a month ago | (#47746597)

Buying Waze would not have helped because Waze uses Google data for maps, so presumably would have had to switch to using TomTom/Bing like Apple Maps did. TomTom's data is crap and Bing's search results are average at best, which is why Apple Maps also sucks.

Google's StreetView programme wasn't just about invading everyone's privacy, it was about getting more data on roads than mapping provided at the time. Their systems can read things like street signs, understand road markings, spot where a particular house number's door is, and automatically improve their maps in a way that would require an incredible amount of effort to do manually. Combined with satellite imagery and telemetry from their cars, and of course deep mining the web, their data is simply years ahead of everyone else.

Nokia has started deploying its own cars to assist with mapping, but Apple hasn't even started and neither has anyone else. That puts them nearly a decade behind, desperately trying to catch up.

Selling out to NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47743299)

As long as Steve Jobs was around Apple wasn't part of Prism (whatever an 'ass' he was, he held out for the right thing on this one). In contrase, MS, as one would expect, was the first (won't be surprised if they gave them the idea in exchange for some leverage). Everyone including Google joined eventually, but not Apple under Jobs. Tim Cook took over and sold out all his customers to NSA. Yeah, the congenial man, who is sooo much better than Jobs.

As someone said, not everyone who shits on you is your enemy, and not everyone who digs you out of shit is your friend.

He is pathetic and desperate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47743357)

I think he is pathetic and almost desperate. Especially the stupid "you will get a better life if you buy Apple" comment, to me, paints him like this.

Re: He is pathetic and desperate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47743841)

150+ billion revenue per year. Yeah. I would like to be that desperate, too.

Guess you the see the definition of pathetic every morning in your bathroom mirror.

Re: He is pathetic and desperate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47746041)

You imbecill, it's precisely because of the revenue that this comment makes him seem desperate and pathetic. It's not enough, so he has to lower himself to this level and tell people that their lives will get better if they buy Apple (instead of the competitor).

He's a Scully (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47745353)

The new products are the old products, he's a John Scully figure clearly.

Dear Apple,

See the little iPod you have now? Make a phone that size with a keyring on the end. Figure out how to make tiny phones work. They have their tablets, they don't need a half asses tablet in their phone too, they need a phone. One always with the, one with them when needed.

Stop playing catchup, start playing follow my leader. Small is the new big.

Re:He's a Scully (1)

Wovel (964431) | about a month ago | (#47773741)

I don't agree with the Scully comment, but I do like your idea.

Matt

Employee happiness (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a month ago | (#47745579)

A CEO that gets it.

Tim Cook realizes he's not Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs is perhaps one of three people in the world who can be an asshole and yet get results done (the other two - Linus Torvalds and Theo De Raadt). Say what you want, but they're all assholes, except mysteriously, they get results.

Everyone else who've tried, failed miserably.

And I'm sure Cook realizes it too - he's no Jobs and being an asshole would destroy the company (most who try fail, hence why there's only three people in the world who could do it). He's got to be different, and if that means revamping the company from being under the thumb to how companies should be run, so be it.

Still, you do miss the odd Jobs-style flare up. I mean, Ballmer had his chairs. Cook is just a bit.. understated.

B is good or bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47794177)

I just wonder if he is graded with B how Steve Balmer will be? Could you grade - E?

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