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You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > Tim Cook vs. Steve Jobs: Taking Stock

Tim Cook vs. Steve Jobs: Taking Stock
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freudling
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Jul 28, 2012, 09:01 PM
 
Most of you on here know I'm very anti-Cook. I was all over him when he became permanent CEO right after Jobs died. I think Apple will get run into the ground with him as CEO.

Everyone was quick to scream bloody murder and call me crazy, a bastard, etc.

But history is on my side: many tech companies struggled after their founder was gone. Not that it'll happen in every case.

But in this case, I predicted Apple will come unglued with Jobs gone because he's not replaceable: he was too intertwined with Apple the company. And the person that could come close to him: it's not Cook and I don't know who it is.

Cook is an emotionless logistics guy who doesn't seem to understand or have a passion for product development and design. As Jobs said in his bio about Cook, "He's not a product guy". That right there should have been Jobs' huge red flag because it's supposed to be 110% about the product. By having someone in charge who's not a product guy I can imagine a series of things happening...

Let's look at Cook's short record so far:

1. Two missed earnings quarters after Jobs' stellar several consecutive record quarters.
2. Horrific advertisements that started bad with celebrities and are only getting worse.
3. No new iPods, at all, for last year's holidays.
4. Siri launch, even though Beta, has been hammered by complaints in the US.
5. Fatter, heavier iPad 3.
6. Not going Retina with their iMacs and MacBooks except on one experimental rMBP. rMBP not enough of a design evolution.
7. Mountain Lion: despite what some may say, having used it for months, it's a marginal upgrade.
8. Mac Pro left out in the wind.
9. Apple marketing, other than iTunes seems to have really slowed down.
10. Increased R&D spending, nothing yet to show for it.

It looks like their innovation has slowed, and this can be linked directly to their earnings. For example, I'm sure any reasonable person would bet money that if Apple released a refreshed line up of iPods last October, like they had been doing under Jobs, they would have killed it during the holiday season. Yes, iPod sales have been decelerating as the iPhone takes the thunder, but they still sell a ton, and new models would have goosed business and their revenues. Huge missed opportunity here and a slow down in innovation.

The problem I see coming up is the significant increases in Apple's R&D spending with nothing yet to show for it but an increased corporate image and a ton of litigation. Jobs did the exact opposite: he had Apple spending as little as it could on R&D with pumping out as many products as he could without wasting time and money on crap that didn't matter. Apple seems to be heading down the same road as the rest of the bozos in this regard. We'll see how the next few quarters go on this front.

The fatter, heavier iPad 3 would never have made it through Jobs' review. Although the iPad is selling well, it might have sold even better if it were lighter and thinner. I don't know how many iPad 2s are selling as part of the 17 million number for the quarter.

As I mentioned in other areas, the Retina MBP was a missed opportunity. Jobs was flashy and would leap frog product lines all at once. I think they missed another major opportunity at releasing all of their laptops as Retina. But if the rMBP is their market tester... I guess we'll have to wait. But when it comes to earnings, it's moves like huge product transitions that get people running to the store to buy this, with the competition left in the dust. This isn't happening so far under Cook, not at all. And future earnings are going to show it, too because of a slow down in the pace of innovation. I'm typing on a rMBP right now. I can't believe anyone still has to use the previous model: heavier, thicker, with a grainy screen. And this is now running cooler with hardly any fan noise. It makes my older MBP look like a piece of junk. Now that's some good innovation here... but move the whole thing over! I'm not interested in the zillion excuses why Apple can't do it because of manufacturing problems! Etc. Nobody really knows.

But it's the rumors fault the iPhone is dipping in sales, right Cook?

Cook blamed “rumor and speculation regarding new products” for sales of the iPhone dipping.

And then some high level people have been jumping ship, including Bob Mansfeld. I figured he'd leave because him and Forstall never got along apparently.

Anyway, I gave Tim Cook 2 years before people would start questioning his leadership and I stand by it. Set your calendars for November, 2013.

Now, if you're just going to jump on here and attack me, troll. Buzz off. Go away. Don't bother posting. This is my opinion. We don't need a bunch of jerk offs saying the same old, "The world is crashing". "Apple is going to die, what are we going to do!" etc. If you're not interested in the topic to post reasonable posts, get the fuxk out.
     
turtle777
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Jul 28, 2012, 09:23 PM
 
I think it's too early to tell.

A lot of the products that came out in the last 9 months were still designed and decided by Steve.
Product development cycles are more than 12 months, so we'll have to wait another 3-6 months to see the first products that are completely Steve-less.

That Apple's profits and margins would suffer at some point is also something that has been expected by many, even before Steve died. Competition is ramping up, and the world is heading into another recession.

-t
     
OreoCookie
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Jul 28, 2012, 10:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
I think it's too early to tell.
A lot of the products that came out in the last 9 months were still designed and decided by Steve.
Product development cycles are more than 12 months, so we'll have to wait another 3-6 months to see the first products that are completely Steve-less.
---^--- This. ---^---

Steve Jobs was involved in the products that were in the pipeline, including Siri (which was approved by him), the new iPad with retina screen and surely also the retina MacBook Pro. He also ushered in the iCloud era, it was the last thing he introduced and amounts to a paradigm shift (away from the Mac as the digital hub towards the cloud). In that respect, also Mountain Lion fits this strategy of smaller, more frequent incremental improvements: similar to Intel's tick-tock strategy, Apple introduces new features in one release and refines them in the next, taking user feedback into account. That's great for the user and keeps Apple nimble on its feet.

The introduction of the retina display in the 15" MacBook Pro (the non-retina MacBook Pro is, despite of its upgraded internals the »old« MacBook Pro) is text book Steve Jobs: he has always introduced big new features in expensive flagship products, e. g. the new unibody enclosure in the MacBook Air/MacBook Pro, retina displays in the new iPhone while still selling the old one, the introduction of the first-gen MacBook Air as an expensive, slow luxury item, etc. Flagship features have often trickled down from expensive, lower-volume products.

Also, if rumors are to be believed, there will be a string of new products next quarter, right in the holiday season. I agree with turtle: if we really want to see how Apple works without Steve Jobs, ask again in two or three years when all of he products and strategies that Jobs was still involved in have been brought to market.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
freudling  (op)
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Jul 28, 2012, 11:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
A bunch of stuff...
The introduction of the retina display in the 15" MacBook Pro (the non-retina MacBook Pro is, despite of its upgraded internals the »old« MacBook Pro) is text book Steve Jobs: he has always introduced big new features in expensive flagship products... some other stuff
You and your absolutes. No, Apple doesn't "always" do this and no, this is not "textbook Steve Jobs".

I won't even begin to start a list of how this isn't the case.
     
OreoCookie
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Jul 28, 2012, 11:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by freudling View Post
I won't even begin to start a list of how this isn't the case.
If you don't want to discuss this, then why do you bother creating a thread?
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jul 29, 2012, 12:29 AM
 
     
Lateralus
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Jul 29, 2012, 12:34 AM
 
He didn't create a thread, he posted a bulletin.
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chabig
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Jul 29, 2012, 02:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by freudling View Post
Now, if you're just going to jump on here and attack me, troll. Buzz off. Go away. Don't bother posting. This is my opinion. We don't need a bunch of jerk offs saying the same old, "The world is crashing". "Apple is going to die, what are we going to do!" etc. If you're not interested in the topic to post reasonable posts, get the fuxk out.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Jul 29, 2012, 02:38 AM
 
This boring logistics guy is the reason Apple has made so much money over the last few years just as much if not more so than Jobs. Logistics is important. It may not be as cool as new products, but it matters a lot.

Much of your post is just woefully inaccurate.

1. Two missed earnings quarters after Jobs' stellar several consecutive record quarters.
Earnings targets set by analysts who pull figures out of their backsides. Apple is still making obscene amounts of money amid a global recession.

2. Horrific advertisements that started bad with celebrities and are only getting worse.
I'm guessing this is based solely on the Olympics ad doing the rounds the other day. The celeb ones were neither brilliant nor awful. This is just your usual panicky overreaction.

3. No new iPods, at all, for last year's holidays.
This happened (or rather didn't happen) months after Jobs died. I suspect it would have been the same way if he hadn't died. I also imagine that many people were getting sick of their iPods being outdated every single year. The next batch will probably sell like crazy.

4. Siri launch, even though Beta, has been hammered by complaints in the US.
This is just pointless shite which you have included to pad out your list of stupid arguments. Siri is brilliant and will get better and better. You could say it was too soon for mainstream, but Siri needs to learn, so it needs to be used by the public.

5. Fatter, heavier iPad 3.
More idiotic nonsense. Have you seen the screens on these? They are outstanding. The rest is necessary to support the screen. Otherwise this is an argument as to why the iPods and Macs weren't all updated, because the tech isn't ready for the desired updates without making them too big, too fat with no battery life.

6. Not going Retina with their iMacs and MacBooks except on one experimental rMBP. rMBP not enough of a design evolution.
The rMBP is pushing the limits of hardware as it is. Doing this across the range in one go would be madness. A retina 27" iMac is going to cost $4K if its released tomorrow, and run like an oven. The rMBP has much lower frame rates than the non retina, and many apps are not yet updated with retina support. Rolling out a whole bunch of 1st gen updates will also cause quality control issues as teething problems will be inevitable. There is also no point doing a complete case redesign if you have no material improvements to make.

7. Mountain Lion: despite what some may say, having used it for months, it's a marginal upgrade.
Thats why its name is so similar to Lion, like Snow Leopard was to Leopard. This was expected well in advance and not any cause for concern.

8. Mac Pro left out in the wind.
One of your few valid points, though again no reason to assume Jobs would have done any differently.

9. Apple marketing, other than iTunes seems to have really slowed down.
Nope. Over here ads for the rMBP have been everywhere. Highly unusual. Maybe Apple is just spending its ad budget in other places. Everyone in the US knows about Apple by now anyway.

10. Increased R&D spending, nothing yet to show for it.
Everything points to a big product year next year. We know new iMacs are coming, probably a new iPod range, the iPhone 5 and the hinted at Mac Pro replacement. Then there is the much touted TV. Your utter tripe about Jobs spending less on R&D is noted. Jobs used to come out and say that the growing cash reserves would be spent on R&D whenever the economy slowed down so there would be new tech ready when the markets picked up again. Does this sound relevant? And you label this as an upcoming problem? Its an upcoming solution. People call you crazy for a good reason.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jul 29, 2012, 04:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by chabig View Post
Originally Posted by freudling View Post
Now, if you're just going to jump on here and attack me, troll. Buzz off. Go away. Don't bother posting. This is my opinion. We don't need a bunch of jerk offs saying the same old, "The world is crashing". "Apple is going to die, what are we going to do!" etc. If you're not interested in the topic to post reasonable posts, get the fuxk out.
     
freudling  (op)
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Jul 29, 2012, 06:59 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
If you don't want to discuss this, then why do you bother creating a thread?
If I actually gave a crap about what you think of anything...
     
freudling  (op)
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Jul 29, 2012, 07:00 AM
 
Adding nothing to this thread. Zero. Violation of the rules and this post is reported.
     
freudling  (op)
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Jul 29, 2012, 07:00 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Same here.
     
freudling  (op)
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Jul 29, 2012, 07:14 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
This boring logistics guy is the reason Apple has made so much money over the last few years just as much if not more so than Jobs. Logistics is important. It may not be as cool as new products, but it matters a lot.
Much of your post is just woefully inaccurate.
So much money that under his leadership Apple is now missing earnings projections. And show me the evidence and support that Apple has made so much money because of "Logistics". You just read a bunch of articles on the Internet and think that's it! Logisitcs... the only logistics that's been around is Apple have delays on shipments of new products consistently, and at times for months after product releases.

Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
1. Two missed earnings quarters after Jobs' stellar several consecutive record quarters.
Earnings targets set by analysts who pull figures out of their backsides. Apple is still making obscene amounts of money amid a global recession.
Never had these missed earnings under Jobs for a long time. All of a sudden their missing, and Cook blames rumors for the iPhone slippage. BS.

Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
2. Horrific advertisements that started bad with celebrities and are only getting worse.
I'm guessing this is based solely on the Olympics ad doing the rounds the other day. The celeb ones were neither brilliant nor awful. This is just your usual panicky overreaction.
Sure, excuse it away.

Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
3. No new iPods, at all, for last year's holidays.
This happened (or rather didn't happen) months after Jobs died. I suspect it would have been the same way if he hadn't died. I also imagine that many people were getting sick of their iPods being outdated every single year. The next batch will probably sell like crazy.
You suspect it would have been the same had Jobs not died? What makes you suspect that? The evidence in reality that Apple comes out with new iPods for the holidays is contrary to what you say. This is the first year in quite some time that they never had new iPods for the holiday season.

Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
4. Siri launch, even though Beta, has been hammered by complaints in the US.
This is just pointless shite which you have included to pad out your list of stupid arguments. Siri is brilliant and will get better and better. You could say it was too soon for mainstream, but Siri needs to learn, so it needs to be used by the public.
Post reported because of your personal attacks. Take your personal attacks and stupid labels and go eat lunch.

Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
5. Fatter, heavier iPad 3.
More idiotic nonsense. Have you seen the screens on these? They are outstanding. The rest is necessary to support the screen. Otherwise this is an argument as to why the iPods and Macs weren't all updated, because the tech isn't ready for the desired updates without making them too big, too fat with no battery life.
Nobody cares about how hard people's jobs are, what it takes, etc. They couldn't get the job done then there you go. No excuses.

Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
6. Not going Retina with their iMacs and MacBooks except on one experimental rMBP. rMBP not enough of a design evolution.
The rMBP is pushing the limits of hardware as it is. Doing this across the range in one go would be madness. A retina 27" iMac is going to cost $4K if its released tomorrow, and run like an oven. The rMBP has much lower frame rates than the non retina, and many apps are not yet updated with retina support. Rolling out a whole bunch of 1st gen updates will also cause quality control issues as teething problems will be inevitable. There is also no point doing a complete case redesign if you have no material improvements to make.
Show the evidence to support that it will cost that much like you know Apple's manufacturing costs. Show the evidence also that it'll run like an oven.

Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
7. Mountain Lion: despite what some may say, having used it for months, it's a marginal upgrade.
Thats why its name is so similar to Lion, like Snow Leopard was to Leopard. This was expected well in advance and not any cause for concern.
Marginal...

Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
8. Mac Pro left out in the wind.
One of your few valid points, though again no reason to assume Jobs would have done any differently.
No reason to assume he wouldn't.

Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
9. Apple marketing, other than iTunes seems to have really slowed down.
Nope. Over here ads for the rMBP have been everywhere. Highly unusual. Maybe Apple is just spending its ad budget in other places. Everyone in the US knows about Apple by now anyway.
Email marketing has been spotty. Apple sent out an Email marketing blast, for instance, for Mountain Lion, at 11:12 pm. With Jobs, the Emails were timed like a well oiled watch. And the average consumer... probably doesn't know Mountain Lion launched because Apple's homepage has it has a small square on the bottom instead of it taking up the whole homepage to push the marketing and the adoption of this major release.

Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
10. Increased R&D spending, nothing yet to show for it.
Everything points to a big product year next year. We know new iMacs are coming, probably a new iPod range, the iPhone 5 and the hinted at Mac Pro replacement. Then there is the much touted TV. Your utter tripe about Jobs spending less on R&D is noted. Jobs used to come out and say that the growing cash reserves would be spent on R&D whenever the economy slowed down so there would be new tech ready when the markets picked up again. Does this sound relevant? And you label this as an upcoming problem? Its an upcoming solution. People call you crazy for a good reason.
Apple always has big products. All we've seen is LESS and more on R&D spending. Apple is showing more corporate bloat with dividends payouts, Cook more apt to speak with investors, advertising that doesn't focus on the products and is just dumb. Less innovation more noise.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jul 29, 2012, 07:50 AM
 
Originally Posted by freudling View Post
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
If you don't want to discuss this, then why do you bother creating a thread?
If I actually gave a crap about what you think of anything...
...then you would post a thread soliciting opinions and discussion.
     
chabig
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Jul 29, 2012, 11:47 AM
 
Originally Posted by freudling View Post
Adding nothing to this thread. Zero. Violation of the rules and this post is reported.
As was yours.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Jul 29, 2012, 02:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by freudling View Post
So much money that under his leadership Apple is now missing earnings projections. And show me the evidence and support that Apple has made so much money because of "Logistics". You just read a bunch of articles on the Internet and think that's it! Logisitcs... the only logistics that's been around is Apple have delays on shipments of new products consistently, and at times for months after product releases.
Never had these missed earnings under Jobs for a long time. All of a sudden their missing, and Cook blames rumors for the iPhone slippage. BS.

Its really very simple. Analysts invent numbers out of thin air, Apple kept blowing them away. Eventually the analysts start to think they look foolish because their numbers are always too low, so they bump them higher so that Apple will miss them. It really doesn't matter anyway, Apple is making tons of cash and margins that average over 40%. Dell or HP would sell every employee's mother to get margins like that.

As for logistics, improving the efficiency of your supply chain increases your margins by saving on your costs. The unibody case for the MacBook ranges means Apple can re-tool an assembly line fast and virtually free. No new moulds every time they want to add or remove a port or a slot. Another argument not to redesign products because the likes of you think they haven't changed recently enough. Apple is also believed to deliberately cultivate product shortages after launch, it helps to maintain exclusivity and hence demand.
Those articles I read on the internet constitute more evidence than you have offered to contradict me by the way.

Originally Posted by freudling View Post
Sure, excuse it away.
Oh I forgot, you're allowed to do that but no-one else is. Sorry about that.

Originally Posted by freudling View Post
You suspect it would have been the same had Jobs not died? What makes you suspect that? The evidence in reality that Apple comes out with new iPods for the holidays is contrary to what you say. This is the first year in quite some time that they never had new iPods for the holiday season.

Steve Jobs died in October 2011. He was working up until days before he died by all accounts. Do my suspicions really require further explanation than that?

Originally Posted by freudling View Post
Post reported because of your personal attacks. Take your personal attacks and stupid labels and go eat lunch.

Calling your arguments stupid is not a personal attack. Its an attack on your arguments.


Originally Posted by freudling View Post
Nobody cares about how hard people's jobs are, what it takes, etc. They couldn't get the job done then there you go. No excuses.
Show the evidence to support that it will cost that much like you know Apple's manufacturing costs. Show the evidence also that it'll run like an oven.

I found an Eizo 36" 4K display for $30,000. There is a Viewsonic 31.5" 4K display which costs "as much as a car". There is a 20" 4K Panasonic panel but no price for that yet.
Once you fit it in the iMac, you need to beef up the GPU to run that many pixels. The retina MBP can't match the non-retina versions when it comes to fps, and it runs quite warm by all accounts. The evidence points to Apple having pushed the limits of current tech to release the rMBP now.


Originally Posted by freudling View Post
Email marketing has been spotty. Apple sent out an Email marketing blast, for instance, for Mountain Lion, at 11:12 pm. With Jobs, the Emails were timed like a well oiled watch. And the average consumer... probably doesn't know Mountain Lion launched because Apple's homepage has it has a small square on the bottom instead of it taking up the whole homepage to push the marketing and the adoption of this major release.

I'll concede this one. Mountain Lion did launch with less fanfare than I expected.


Originally Posted by freudling View Post
Apple always has big products. All we've seen is LESS and more on R&D spending. Apple is showing more corporate bloat with dividends payouts, Cook more apt to speak with investors, advertising that doesn't focus on the products and is just dumb. Less innovation more noise.
You could at least give the guy a chance before you write him off. The products in the pipeline now are still going to be very much Steve-influenced. Cook has earned the right to do a few things differently if he sees fit.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
turtle777
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Jul 29, 2012, 04:12 PM
 
Hold on, guys, I need more popcorn.

Edit: And I'm back. You may continue.

-t
     
freudling  (op)
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Jul 29, 2012, 06:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Its really very simple. Analysts invent numbers out of thin air, Apple kept blowing them away. Eventually the analysts start to think they look foolish because their numbers are always too low, so they bump them higher so that Apple will miss them. It really doesn't matter anyway, Apple is making tons of cash and margins that average over 40%. Dell or HP would sell every employee's mother to get margins like that.
As for logistics, improving the efficiency of your supply chain increases your margins by saving on your costs. The unibody case for the MacBook ranges means Apple can re-tool an assembly line fast and virtually free. No new moulds every time they want to add or remove a port or a slot. Another argument not to redesign products because the likes of you think they haven't changed recently enough. Apple is also believed to deliberately cultivate product shortages after launch, it helps to maintain exclusivity and hence demand.
Those articles I read on the internet constitute more evidence than you have offered to contradict me by the way.
Oh I forgot, you're allowed to do that but no-one else is. Sorry about that.
Steve Jobs died in October 2011. He was working up until days before he died by all accounts. Do my suspicions really require further explanation than that?
Calling your arguments stupid is not a personal attack. Its an attack on your arguments.
I found an Eizo 36" 4K display for $30,000. There is a Viewsonic 31.5" 4K display which costs "as much as a car". There is a 20" 4K Panasonic panel but no price for that yet.
Once you fit it in the iMac, you need to beef up the GPU to run that many pixels. The retina MBP can't match the non-retina versions when it comes to fps, and it runs quite warm by all accounts. The evidence points to Apple having pushed the limits of current tech to release the rMBP now.
I'll concede this one. Mountain Lion did launch with less fanfare than I expected.
You could at least give the guy a chance before you write him off. The products in the pipeline now are still going to be very much Steve-influenced. Cook has earned the right to do a few things differently if he sees fit.
Your arguments are stupid and idiotic.

Next.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jul 29, 2012, 10:26 PM
 
Start your own ****ing forum.
     
ajprice
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Jul 30, 2012, 12:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by freudling View Post

Your arguments are stupid and idiotic.

Next.
Debating society champion 2012

You started this thread, facts are stated in reply, you put your fingers in your ears and shout la la la.

Top work there, please do go and start your own forum. I'm sure it will be an epic success.

It'll be much easier if you just comply.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Jul 30, 2012, 12:51 AM
 
I'm actually laughing out loud at the feebleness of that reply.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Demonhood
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Jul 30, 2012, 08:12 AM
 
This is a forum, not a place to drop off your personal verbal diarrhea and then bitch and moan when people tell you it stinks.
     
   
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