“Tim Cook was left with one of the hardest acts to follow in the history of business when he succeeded Steve Jobs as Apple‘s chief executive in August 2011,” Tim Bradshaw reports for The Financial Times. “Just six weeks after Mr Cook’s appointment, Mr Jobs succumbed to pancreatic cancer, with many fearing Apple would go into decline — the vision and genius that had inspired the company’s revival dying with him.”

“Instead, in the five years since, Mr Cook has slowly had to define his own Apple. It has become a company in some ways more open and approachable, even as its valuation surged, at one point, to new all-time highs for any company in the world,” Bradshaw reports. “”

“Yet despite reporting the most profitable quarter ever in January last year thanks to the huge success of the iPhone 6, some critics continue to challenge whether Mr Cook can ever deliver the same kind of technological breakthroughs as his predecessor. In 2012, he was forced to apologise for the bungled debut of Apple Maps, something he now admits was ‘clearly a screw-up.’ In 2014, he unveiled a range of new products including the Apple Watch and Apple Pay, but the company is still more dependent on the iPhone for revenue growth and profits,” Bradshaw reports. “The iPhone’s huge success also makes it difficult for any other Apple product to stand out. ‘For any other consumer electronics company, the Apple Watch would be a success beyond their wildest dreams,’ Ben Wood of CCS Insight says. ‘Juxtaposed against the iPhone it looks like a disappointment.'”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Anything juxtaposed against iPhone looks like a disappointment. With the Apple Watch requiring an iPhone, of course it will sell fewer units. Not every iPhone owner buys extra iCloud storage or an Apple Music membership, either. Apple Watch is a stellar product that will make the naysayer’s quotes incredibly humorous to revisit in a few short years.

Apple CEO Tim Cook

Apple CEO Tim Cook

We give Cook a solid B+. Things like the half-baked Apple TV with its half-assed/designed-by-an-intern Siri Remote would have never been released under Steve Jobs. Period. We also would have had numerous Mac updates by now just to freshen things up (and boost sales) under Jobs, too. The “S” naming of iPhone would likely have been recognized as Apple explicitly hamstringing their own product (we can hear Jobs saying, “Why not just call it ‘iPhone No Big Deal’ every other year, Phil?”).

That said, overall, we’ve gotten the very promising Apple Watch, with rapid advancements in watchOS and software and new hardware coming. We finally got iPhones with properly-sized displays in iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. We now have Continuity across platforms. Apple has made strong advances in services. Apple Music arrived (with a piss poor UX that Jobs would have sent back to the drawing board, not released). We got Browettized, but then we got the stellar Angela Ahrendts, a very successful CEO in her own right. We got Apple Maps. Yeah, um… but, then we got a raft of improvements to Apple Maps, still a work in progress. Apple released the new MacBook, which is simply one of the most amazing Macs ever made. We did get the very Jobsian Mac Pro (which, sadly, Cook then left to languish for years – eons in tech time).

Most importantly, though, we got a strong stance for liberty and privacy with Apple’s stances on the sanctity of personal data, security, and strong encryption. Cook’s backbone on that, in the face of U.S. government opposition up to the president, earns extra credit that erases many mistakes.

So, it’s a B+ for Cook. Very good with clear room for improvement.

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Woz on Tim Cook’s first 5 years as Apple CEO: ‘I am very happy with the way Apple is going’ – August 19, 2016