Apple's Tim Cook

  • September 17, 2014
  • Scott

If you have any doubt about Tim Cook’s mastery of the subject of Apple, watch this interview:

This is just part 1 of a two-part interview.  It is clear that Tim Cook and his team play the long game.  This isn’t about the next product release, despite being a product company.  It is about thinking several moves and years ahead, and skating to where the puck is likely to be.

What’s the impact of the iPhone 6 and 6 plus announcements?  Benedict Evans has one of the best posts on the subject.

“[…] these phones are a direct move against premium Android.”

Evans feels that since Apple has half of the high end market, and Android (mostly Samsung) has the other half, these iPhone 6 phones are designed precisely to go after that other lucrative half.

That is, with the iPhone 6 and iOS8, Apple has done its best to close off all the reasons to buy high-end Android beyond simple personal preference. You can get a bigger screen, you can change the keyboard, you can put widgets on the notification panel (if you insist) and so on. Pretty much all the external reasons to choose Android are addressed – what remains is personal taste.

Also, quite surprisingly, there was positive coverage in the New York Times, of Apple.  Perhaps, not looking for another Pulitzer on the back of Apple-baiting?

The biggest news was about the old Apple: It’s back, and it’s more capable than ever.

Any question about how well Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, is managing the reins of the world’s most valuable company will most likely be put to rest after Tuesday’s profusion of product announcements at the Flint Center in Cupertino, Calif., where Steve Jobs first showed off the Macintosh in 1984.

Farhad distilled the Apple story down to a simple-to-understand theme – that the secret wasn’t how many totally novel devices Apple releases, but how few:

Since the 1980s, Apple has invented four new computing platforms — the Mac, the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad — that have been revolutionary. But in each of the intervening periods between new platforms, Apple looked remarkably similar to the company under Mr. Cook. Each year it put out slight, useful updates to existing products, features that were cheered by customers while roundly jeered by the tech press as yet more unimpressive incrementalism.

Apple was on its game (except for the live feed) at that September 9th presentation. Apple has removed many of the reasons to pick a not-iPhone (screen size, and various iOS 8 features), and has also introduced a new category (watch) that will keep the competition on their toes.  And the difference is, Apple customers are likely to spend $349 or so on a watch.  It isn’t clear that the same is true for the Android demographic – unless that watch is equal to or better than Apple’s… at a lower price.

It will be another interesting year to watch how these products fare in the market!



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  • Gordon

    Excited for my iPhone 6! But the S5 does still have one huge advantage — it’s waterproof.

    • waterproof is a strong claim 🙂 Samsung only claims “water resistant” – which is nice. but if you drop it in your pool and leave it for a few seconds, it is over. It is not your 50m waterproof watch! I’m not taking any chances with my phones and water 🙂

      • Gordon

        Fair enough. But Apple’s answer had better be “We’re waiting until we can make a truly waterproof phone” rather than “We don’t think this is an important feature.”

        • it “better be”? yeah, cuz otherwise they definitely won’t sell 60M iphones a quarter… I think Apple knows what they’re doing.