“When Apple Inc. became the first U.S. company to be publicly valued at $1 trillion, Chief Executive Tim Cook sought to minimize the milestone,” Therese Poletti writes for MarketWatch. “‘It’s not the most important measure of our success,’ Cook told Apple employees in an email last week. ‘Financial returns are simply the result of Apple’s innovation.'”

“Apple’s market cap is the most important measure of Cook’s success, though, because it is a reflection of the growing sales and profit he has managed to coax from a company that should have hit a wall two years ago,” Poletti writes. “Cook is not a visionary CEO like his predecessor, Steve Jobs. It was Cook’s skills in manufacturing and operations that interested Jobs, who hired him from Compaq a year after his triumphant return to Apple in 1997… Since Jobs passed the torch, Cook has nearly quadrupled Apple’s share price by taking Jobs’s innovation and making it a permanent, perpetual and profitable ecosystem. Apple’s revenue and market cap should have paused along with iPhone unit sales two years ago, but higher-priced phones, expensive accessories and more money coming in from software and services have kept the enormous Apple train running on time, and stuffed with cash.”

“In the June quarter, services soared 31% to $9.5 billion, and it is on pace to collect more than $37 billion this year, a business roughly three-quarters the size of Facebook,” Poletti writes. “Sales of wearables like the Apple Watch and AirPods headphones soared 37% to $3.7 billion… Over the six-and-a-half years of his tenure, Cook has turned Apple into a rare breed: A growth value company.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Scintillating he may not be, but very adept at wringing profits from what Steve left him, he certainly is (not counting the Macintosh which has suffered under Cook and ironically, too, since Jobs originally hired him as Apple’s Senior Vice President for Worldwide Operations to basically oversee the Macintosh and, in relation to the role, Cook once said, “You kind of want to manage it like you’re in the dairy business. If it gets past its freshness date, you have a problem.”

We’d like to see Cook double down on correcting these weaknesses: The timely delivery of sufficient product when promised (or don’t promise) and keeping all of Apple’s product lines up-to-date and state-of-the-art. Again, both are ironic situations given Cook’s “Operations Genius” moniker. Too many delayed and/or incomplete launches and too many products left to grow long in the tooth are our main points when critiquing Cook’s performance. With virtually unlimited cash and talent at his disposal for his entire CEOship, neither of those issues should exist today. There’s no excuse.

The Mac, in particular, properly updated and marketed should be a significantly larger business than it is currently. That it’s done as well as it has – despite Cook et al.’s blatantly obvious indifference (sporadic and forced protestations aside) – is a testament to the Mac’s sheer indomitability (last quarter, the chickens finally came home to roost).

Again, besides those two major issues, Cook has run Apple as well as anyone could and in several cases better (for just two examples: privacy, Apple Watch).

Apple sold fewest Macs in any quarter since 2010 as nearly the entire lineup was outdated – August 1, 2018

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Arline M.” for the heads up.]