“Our best years are ahead of us, and together we will continue to make Apple the magical place it is.” Tim Cook’s debut as CEO, August 24, 2011, echoed the message with which Jobs, weakened by the disease, had resigned: “I believe that the brightest and most innovative days of Apple are yet to come. And I’m looking forward to witnessing and contributing to his success in a new role ”.
Jobs died less than two months later, too early to celebrate the moment when Apple became the largest company listed on the stock exchange, for comment on the deal with the former enemy IBM, per celebrate forty years since its foundation O the billionth iPhone sold. By choosing Timothy Donald Cook in his place, he knew that Apple would change, and quite a lot: he had already replaced him in his sick periods, but perhaps he would not have imagined that this Alabama engineer would become a champion of civil rights, underlining the ethical aspect of technology rather than the aesthetic one.
Today Apple is the most valuable company in the world, nearly 2500 billion dollars. Over 80 percent was accumulated during Tim Cook’s tenure: no other CEO has created more absolute shareholder value.
Privacy according to Craig Federighi: “For Apple it is freedom of choice”
by Bruno Ruffilli
Affinity and differences
In his office, Cook has a photo of Robert F. Kennedy e one from Reverend Martin Luther King: of the first he admires how he lived in the shadow of the more famous brother John Fitzgerald, of the second his dedication to work, the inflexibility of principles and generosity. But his era begins with a tear, albeit for a good purpose: in September 2011, Cupertino starts a charity program, announcing that it will double employee donations. And when we start talking about suicides again in the Chinese Foxconn factory assigns an external company to assess the working conditions at the iPad and iPhone assembly lines. Then he flies to the East, personally checks the factories and is photographed with the yellow helmet among the workers.
More tears come in the products, with the iPad Mini and the 12.9-inch Pro, with the stylus that Jobs hated and with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus (for Jobs the ideal size of a smartphone screen must allow you to reach every point with just your thumb). Steve Jobs was a keen observer: sooner or later he would change his mind on his own and would have been able to find a way to propose the new products as brilliant inventions of Apple.
In ten years, the Apple Watch was the first truly new product to arrive from Cupertino. It is not known if the founder had time to give his opinion on the smartwatch, but it is undeniable that it represents the opening to a new market. Apple is the industry leader, although it has had to revise its marketing strategy, with lower prices as well less emphasis on the fashion aspect of the Apple Watch, which has become a device for health and well-being in the round: on the other hand, success did not come immediately for the iPod. In a few weeks, the new iPhones will be presented, as well as the third generation of AirPods earphones. There will be room for new iPads, and then for MacBook Pros with the second version of the M1 processor. That was one of the hottest innovations in the hi-tech world last year, and it has resulted Apple ranks second among global computer manufacturers, with a growth of 24% compared to last year.
In addition to chip M1, which took Apple out of Intel’s orbit, the most interesting announcement dates back to a few months ago: in the spring the AirTags were presented, small gadgets that help find lost objects. Or, if you want to see them differently, electronic labels that give a digital connotation to the things of the physical world and thus they pave the way for an augmented reality platform that already covers the whole world today.
Less gadgets, more philosophy
Perhaps a car will arrive, with or without the Apple brand, services will grow, from Apple Pay to iCloud, while Apple’s image is already evolving, with new face of the Stores (which are no longer called Stores) and an updated corporate creed. Tim Cook, now in his 60s, he will not run (for now) for the presidency of the United States, but if he did, he might have more of a chance of success. Diplomatic, meticulous, measured yet sincere, he may not have the charisma of a guru, but he was able to focus on the value of the team and make the most of Jobs’s legacy, which does not mean repeating his words and his choices. He soon realized that the only chance to succeed was never to wonder what Steve Jobs would have done in his place and went on another path, his own. He apologized when it was necessary (for the disaster of Maps, for example), raised his voice when it needed to be done, for example opposing the FBI’s request to access iPhone data of the San Bernardino killers. Thus he became a champion of privacy, and other names in technology have moved in his footsteps, not always with the same credibility. With him, Apple sells less and less technological gadgets, and more and more a vision of the world: for this reason the new products no longer carry the initial “i” of Steve Jobs, but the company name. Tim Cook has publicly taken sides on ecology, ethnic and gender diversity, on the issue of civil rights for same-sex couples. Moreover: he came out and declared himself gay, among the very few courageous Silicon Valley executives.
New records for Apple, but Tim Cook warns: “The shortage of chips could reduce the availability of the iPhone”
by Bruno Ruffilli
On the other hand, investors are asking for solidity and long-term projects, and for Cook the task is not simple: it is not enough for a product to be sold, it must be a global success. Like the iPhone, which accounts for over half of the turnover, but it no longer grows in a saturated market where cheaper competitors abound. This will be Cook’s biggest challenge, imagining Apple beyond the iPhone.
One possible way would be augmented reality, for which Cook has repeatedly expressed interest and appreciation. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reveals how rumor circles within Apple that Cook wants to stay in office “for another great new product category”. Gurman also reiterates that the company is planning a mixed reality headset for 2022, but that real AR glasses are expected in the “mid-decade”. And Cook, who just received a $ 750 million bonus for his first ten years at Apple, could retire between 2025 and 2028, as he also has a salary agreement that expires in 2025. And after that? Last year Bloomberg released a report on succession planning to Cook, explaining how things are in Cupertino trying to “cultivate the next class of top managers”. And with Jonathan Ive out of the company, the most likely candidate today appears Craig Federighi.