“Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google corporate brands dropped in an annual survey while Amazon.com Inc maintained the top spot for the third consecutive year, and electric carmaker Telsa Inc rocketed higher after sending a red Roadster into space,” Stephen Nellis reports for Reuters. “Apple dropped to 29th from its previous position of No. 5, and Google dropped from 8th to No. 28. Apple had ranked No. 2 as recently as 2016, according to the annual Harris Poll Reputation Quotient poll released on Tuesday.”

“The poll, conducted since 1999, surveyed 25,800 U.S. adults from Dec. 11 to Jan. 12 on the reputations the ‘most visible’ corporate brands,” Nellis reports. “John Gerzema, CEO of the Harris Poll, told Reuters in an interview that the likely reason Apple and Google fell was that they have not introduced as many attention-grabbing products as they did in past years, such as when Google rolled out free offerings like its Google Docs word processor or Google Maps and Apple’s then-CEO Steve Jobs introduced the iPod, iPhone and iPad.”

“Elon Musk’s Tesla climbed from No. 9 to No. 3 on the strength of sending Tesla Roadster into space aboard a SpaceX rocket – despite fleeting success delivering cars on time on earth, Gerzema said,” Nellis reports. “‘He’s a modern-day carnival barker – it’s incredible,’ Gerzema said of Musk.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Unsurprising. This is just another sign of what we’ve been warning about for over three years now. Misplaced priorities and mismanagement are the causes.

“But, Macs were just named No.1 in a reliability poll!” some exclaim. Well, yes, they were that much better than Windows dreck. Even years of disinterest and beta-quality (and worse) software releases couldn’t drive the Mac’s reliability down to Windows PC levels.

“Oh, but AAPL just hit a new all-time high!” other exclaim. Luckily for Tim Cook, Steve Jobs left him a perpetual profit machine that can absorb pretty much any lackadaisical fsckatude that can be thrown into the spokes.. — MacDailyNews, November 17, 2017

Apple could be run better than it currently is with more visionary leadership whose number one priority is delighting the customers of Apple Inc. by delivering exceptional products – as it was under Steve Jobs – but that will never happen because Steve Jobs left a company with so much momentum, that the cumulative effects of management mistakes won’t slow it down for years, if not decades. That is why Tim Cook has a free ride to plant trees in China while selling an over four-year “Mac Pro” as new today. (Note: It’s fine to plant trees in China, release coffee table books, etc. after you’ve competently performed the basic aspects of your job – like having first-rate, up-to-date products available for sale. When you do such things in spite of offering old product, incomplete product, flawed product, late product, and no product, you leave yourself open to criticism.)

Regardless, as long as the money keeps rolling in and share prices continue to climb, Tim Cook et al. aren’t going anywhere, but make no mistake: Apple could be performing better (we’re talking for customers here, not stock price) and would be with more focused, disciplined, visionary leadership. We gave Tim Cook much benefit of the doubt, but, as always, we call ’em like we see ’em. It’s not like Steve Jobs had the most stellar record of picking Apple CEOs.

Apple CEO Tim Cook

Apple CEO Tim Cook

In 2017, Apple CEO Tim Cook was paid well over a quarter of a million dollars per day ($279,452/day), yet his company could not manage to ship a fully-capable smart speaker (with multi-room, multi-user, and stereo paring capabilities) for 3 years, 3 months, and 4 days and counting after Amazon invented the category.

Regardless of the profits and stock performance, many will say: Too many mistakes too richly rewarded. The recent lack of focus, timely performance, and vexing issues with quality control (that should not exist in the world’s most valuable company, 40+ years after inception) will, if continued, negatively impact the company and future executives years down the road, likely not the current set.MacDailyNews, December 28, 2017

Daring Fireball‘s John Gruber wrote in January, “How does [HomePod] handle multiple people in the same home? That seems like a big question to remain unanswered before folks start plunking down $349. This feels like if Apple had started selling the iPod back in 2001 without ever having explained how the click wheel worked or how you synced music to it from iTunes, and instead just said ‘Trust us, it’s great.’ AirPlay 2 has been postponed until ‘later this year’ — and AirPlay 2 is required for using two HomePods in stereo or multi-room audio. Both of those features were promised all the way back in June when HomePod was announced.”

Exit question: How much would Apple Inc. be worth today had a Jeff Bezos-type CEO taken over the reins instead?MacDailyNews, November 21, 2017

Apple shakes up software development strategy to focus on quality – February 12, 2018
Apple on Mac flaw: ‘We apologize to all Mac users. Our customers deserve better. We are auditing our development processes.’ – November 29, 2017
Tim Cook’s sloppy, unfocused Apple rushes to fix a major Mac security bug – November 29, 2017
What to do about Apple’s shameful Mac security flaw in macOS High Sierra – November 29, 2017
Under ‘operations genius’ Tim Cook, product delays and other problems are no longer unusual for Apple – November 20, 2017
Apple’s desperate Mac Pro damage control message hints at a confused, divided company – April 6, 2017
On the future of Apple’s Macintosh – February 6, 2017
Apple is misplaying the hand Steve Jobs left them – November 30, 2016
Open letter to Tim Cook: Apple needs to do better – January 5, 2015