Tim Cook’s mea culpa: iMac launch should have been postponed

Here’s an exchange from Apple’s Q213 COnference Call with analysts that took place last evening:

Mark Moskowitz, JPMorgan: Tim, earlier you talked about how the December quarter had a very big and broad product refresh. Were there any learning points from that experience in terms of maybe it’s better to stage or kind of stagger out launches over multi quarters versus one quarter? How should we think about that going forward?

Tim Cook, Apple CEO: That’s a good question. I don’t spend a lot of time looking back except to learn from it. If we could run it over, frankly, I would’ve announced the iMac after the turn of the year, because we felt our customers had to wait too long for that specific product. Where the iPad mini was in shortage in the month or in the quarter, in the December quarter, I would not have done that differently because we were able to get the iPad mini out to many millions of customers who really wanted that product for their holiday. So, yes, we did do a lot. Our teams fortunately can do a lot, but in retrospect, that one, I sort of wish, it were after the turn of the year, because our customers would not have had to wait as long as they did.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s good to see Cook admit that the iMac launch was botched. Such candor bodes well for Apple going forward.

As we wrote back on February 4thh:

Apple screwed up with the iMac supply. Everyone knows it. Nobody knows why. This is because Apple insists on sitting there mum and, as they will hopefully someday finally figure out, in the absence of information, information will be created to fill the void… It’s Apple’s institutionalized cone of silence that’s to blame for creating the information vacuum in the first place. In other words, just tell us that the friction-stir welding process (or whatever) ran into an unforeseen snag and that you’re working on the issue and hope to have iMacs in customers’ hands ASAP, Apple. It’s okay to simply admit and explain the issues to customers, Apple. We’ll understand. Really, we will.

With such a simple statement, none of this soap opera bovine excrement [anti-Apple FUD] would be floating around out there.

And, as we wrote on March 5th:

Apple is too big and too rich to screw up things like iMac availability for Christmas shopping season. This isn’t 1996. Steve Jobs would have gone on a spree with an axe. Tim Cook, operations genius, is ultimately responsible for Apple blowing some 800,000 iMac sales in fiscal Q113 (holiday quarter). (Hopefully, he blew them into this quarter.) If Apple had those iMacs ready like they should have, not two months late, then they would have handily beaten the street in all respects and we wouldn’t be having this conversation today.

Related articles:
Obviously, Apple’s autumn iMac launch was badly botched – March 19, 2013
Apple still seeing strong Mac sales growth as iMac supply constraints ease – March 18, 2013
NPD: U.S. Mac sales up 31% YOY in January; Apple looks to be catching up to iMac demand – February 25, 2013
The curious case of Tim Cook, operations genius, and the missing iMacs – February 4, 2013
iMac ship times slip again in Europe on supply issues; U.S. retailers shipping all models – February 4, 2013
Within hours of availability, shipping times for 27-inch iMac slip to 3-4 weeks – November 30, 2012


  1. I’m waiting for a new Mac mini server with Haswell processer, two USB 3.0 ports, two Thunderbolt ports, 500 GB flash storage, and 802.11ac capability. Please allow deliver by September 2013, Apple..

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