Forget Icahn: Apple should take some advice from Ford

“Since Tim Cook took the helm at Apple in 2011, there’s been a steady flow of voices telling the CEO how he should be spending Apple’s money,” John-Erik Koslosky writes for The Motley Fool. “Chief among them has been billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who just won’t end his quest to convince Cook to cut a sweetheart deal to reward investors in the here and now.”

“Apple should ignore Icahn and all the others clamoring for preferred shares, a bigger buyback, a fatter dividend, a dirt cheap iPhone, or whatever the latest push is,” Koslosky writes. “Instead, Cook and company should look to Henry Ford, who had his fair share of clashes with inpatient, meddling investors.”

“In a crowded, competitive, and fast-evolving automobile market in the early 1900s — another time of tectonic cultural and technological shifting — Ford prevailed by staying true to his vision and resisting the forces that got in the way,” Koslosky writes. ” Apple can win by following the same path. Recent evidence backs this up.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Attribution: Next iPhone News. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Bernard Trllot” for the heads up.]

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13 Comments

  1. Henry Ford also understood the advantages of minimising choice when it comes to mass production.

    Sticking to your core values and principles is a good strategy for any company looking to the longer term. Speculators such as Icahn are not looking beyond where the next fast buck will come from.

    Very wisely, Tim Cook has very clearly signalled that Icahn cannot expect any movement with regard to his further ambitions for Apple’s money, so Icahn can stay on board knowing what the deal is, or he can sell his shares and speculate elsewhere.

  2. Apple should take advice from no one! All of these anal cysts want to do is screw over AAPL just so they could lower their stock. I bet they are also lying about it on purpose. Apple should just do what they do best and ignore these hit trolls.

  3. Yeah, but isn’t MDN always pulling out the fact that Ford lost it’s lead to Chevrolet in the 30s when it was super dominant and resistant to changing the color offerings of their Model T, when Chevy offered a more advanced car with color choices. Then and only then did Ford produce the Model A also with color choices, but it was too late and the tide had already turned to Chevy… And, Ford is still playing catch-up today (according to MDN) because of that mistake.

    So, if this is so, according to MDN. I’d read this article with a grain of salt. Apple is doing fine, and “yes” investors will try to meddle, but having a forward vision and not resisting change is also good policy, IMHO.

    1. …and of course, the irony in this observation is to look at what colors are available to buy on an automobile today (especially off-the-lot): you can have “any color” you want, so long as it is Black, White, or Grey 😉

    2. This note is for Mtnmnn: OK, so for a while, GM seemed to have “overtaken” Ford in the US. Ford still had formidable presence in the UK and elsewhere, even then. AND, in case you failed to notice, FORD was the only US car manufacturer — the ONLY one! — that never went bankrupt and/or required a humungous Federal “bailout” in order to stay in business. And some US car companies, like American Motors, simply don’t exist anymore. Let me ask you this: back in 2009, which stock would you have preferred to own — GM or Ford???

  4. As a publicly traded company Apple has some responsibilities to its shareholders. Returning value is one of them.

    Sitting forever on an increasingly large (unprecedented large) mind boggling enormous pile of cash is doing no one any good and is attracting pests (like Icahn and Einhorn).

    Yeah, Apple stick to your vision but what exactly is the vision associated with “cash mountain”?

    1. One would think Apple has more than enough emergency cash for most situations, but maybe they’re thinking the entire world economy will crash or something. Besides with most of that cash locked overseas maybe they’re waiting for a cash repatriation tax holiday. I don’t know why they don’t just create some overseas businesses and make more money than just keeping it locked up in a low-interest bank account. All I know is Apple should be using it to expand into new markets now that their hardware business is completely capped by the flood of cheap Android devices and now the growing flood of cheap Chromebooks. There soon won’t be anywhere Apple’s business can grow.

      It’s true that us common folks don’t know exactly what the enormous mountain of cash is being held for, so we’re only left to speculate like the majority of the investors out there who have lost interest in Apple’s vague vision.

      1. I have no doubt of two things:

        1) The US Senate is so diabolically stupid that they refuse to take down the barrier THEY maintain against bringing foreign earnings into the USA. It’s a ~34% tax rate. Compare that to the normal internal corporate tax rate (of max ~28%) and you’ll notice the inherent insanity. Get lost Carl Levin, dolt.

        2) No way no how is Apple ever going to get into the same position they were in at the end of 1996 with $1 Billion in unwanted Mac Performas rotting in warehouses, which triggered off one of the worst press-oppression eras in their existence. It wasn’t that Macs were remotely bad. It was that the press decided to DESTROY Apple for what is admittedly the single stupidest marketing moron move in their existence, the single worst in my personal experience.

        IF Apple every falls down another rabbit hole, they are NOT going to get caught without wads of cash to get them back to life again, no matter how much HATE is thrown at them by anyone. Apple’s future is to survive AND stick to their principles of creativity. That’s going to be the case no matter how many dickheaded stock manipulators and total ingrates rant and rave at Apple. Hurray!

  5. So, Apple needs help from Ford now, eh? What evidence do you have to support that Apple cannot do tremendously well with the current board and management? Lets look at the data shall we?! Stock analysts (day traders in for the quick buck) are the ones causing all the hype to spin the stock for their own interests… which by the way, is also why Icahn wants some rules changed.

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