“How Mr Cook and his team respond to the iPhone’s current crisis will reveal exactly what kind of business Apple is becoming as it approaches its 43rd birthday,” Tim Bradshaw writes for the Financial Times.

“Is the company that hired the former chiefs of Burberry and Yves Saint Laurent really a fashion brand, selling affordable luxury but subject to the whims of fickle consumers? Can it turn its services business — which generated $10.8bn in revenues in the past quarter — into a new engine of growth, in a transformation similar to the one that propelled Microsoft to supplant Apple as the world’s most valuable company?” Bradshaw asks. “Or is it just another hardware company such as Nokia or BlackBerry, as naysayers have long predicted?”

“‘This is going to be Tim Cook’s defining moment as CEO,’ said Michael Gartenberg, a former director of marketing at Apple who now works as an independent tech analyst. ‘It’s easy being Apple CEO when everything is going right and firing on all cylinders. This is the time we will see Tim Cook really be tested,'” Bradshaw writes. “Seven years into his tenure as chief executive, Mr Cook can claim several meaningful milestones, including briefly turning Apple into the first trillion-dollar company. But he has not succeeded in lessening Apple’s dependence on the iPhone — arguably reflecting a misplaced bet that the smartphone could generate even more revenues through higher prices, even as absolute volume growth slowed… Critics say the current line-up is both expensive and confusing, with too little differentiation between the $750 iPhone XR and $1,000 XS.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Good luck, Tim!

And when your SVP of marketing is naming your most important products after “fast cars,” your SVP of Internet Software and Services is falling asleep in Siri meetings, and your Chief Design Officer (over whom you obviously have no control and who is totally unaccountable) seems more obsessed over Apple Park door handles than designing an Apple TV remote that actually works well for users – or, God forbid, a Mac Pro that actually works for professional Mac users and that isn’t FIVE+ YEARS OLD – you sure as hell are going to need all the luck you can get.

Old, tired, wildly-overpaid, far-too-comfortable blood with misplaced priorities kills companies.

SEE ALSO:
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CEO Tim Cook on why Apple lowered first-quarter revenue forecasts – January 2, 2019
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Apple reiterates they’re working on an all-new modular, upgradeable Mac Pro and a high-end pro display – December 14, 2017
The culture at Apple changed when Tim Cook took over as CEO – April 10, 2017
Why Apple’s promise of a new ‘modular’ Mac Pro matters so much – April 6, 2017
Apple’s cheese grater Mac Pro was flexible, expandable, and powerful – imagine that – April 6, 2017
More about Apple’s Mac Pro – April 6, 2017
Apple’s desperate Mac Pro damage control message hints at a confused, divided company – April 6, 2017
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Apple’s embarrassing Mac Pro mea culpa – April 4, 2017
Who’s going to buy a Mac Pro now? – April 4, 2017
Mac Pro: Why did it take Apple so long to wake up? – April 4, 2017
Apple sorry for what happened with the Mac Pro over the last 3+ years – namely, nothing – April 4, 2017
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Apple CEO Cook pledges support to pro users, says ‘we don’t like politics’ at Apple’s annual shareholders meeting – February 28, 2017
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Attention, Tim Cook! Apple isn’t firing on all cylinders and you need to fix it – January 4, 2017
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Rare video shows Steve Jobs warning Apple to focus less on profits and more on great products – December 23, 2016
Marco Arment: Apple’s Mac Pro is ‘very likely dead’ – December 20, 2016
How Tim Cook’s Apple alienated Mac loyalists – December 20, 2016
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Apple may have finally gotten too big for its unusual corporate structure – November 28, 2016
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Apple’s disgracefully outdated, utterly mismanaged Mac lineup is killing sales – October 13, 2016
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Open letter to Tim Cook: Apple needs to do better – January 5, 2015