Walt Mossberg: It’s Tim Cook’s Apple now

“The Tim Cook era at Apple emerged onto the public stage today in full force, and it bears subtle differences from Steve Jobs’s Apple,” Walt Mossberg writes for Re/code. “Jobs liked to say that Apple lived at the intersection of technology and liberal arts. Tim Cook’s Apple appears headed to some different street corners — the intersections of technology and fashion, and technology and banking.”

“The company has entered new product categories — smartwatches and mobile payments — for the first time since the iPad was unveiled by Jobs in 2010. And the two new iPhone models it introduced at a lavish ceremony today were the first wholly new designs since Jobs’s death in 2011,” Mossberg writes. “Cook is finally getting Apple moving forward again in a big way, and taking some different paths. In fact, it’s hard to remember when Apple, at least in recent years, has entered two big new product categories on the same day.”

“The payment system offers convincing privacy and security features, and a broad partnership with top banks, credit card companies, and merchants,” Mossberg writes. “The watch — which won’t appear until 2015 — has a rich set of features, a simple and clever user interface, and is the first smartwatch I’ve seen that people wouldn’t feel geeky wearing, beating out the runner-up, Motorola’s Moto 360.”

Read more in the full article here.

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47 Comments

    1. What people don’t understand is that in terms of development both new and existing that pothole was probably hit during the last year or more of Steve’s reign. His health must have affected planning for some time not to mention a clear vision and it is wholly unfair to criticise those who followed for a barren period while a new vision is produced. No ones fault it’s just the way it is and Cook and crew needed support back then and congratulations now for what they have done and SJ for leaving such a great set up to follow him. The fools who criticised are seen now to be straw men (and women) with no real understanding of the reality of what Apple is and does. Expect their voices to be louder than ever now out of embarrassment, nothing screams louder than a fool who has a dunces hat for ever super glued to their head.

  1. I liked it better when they kept this stuff secret. Like the U2 thing, since the rumors were correct, the whole bono and cook play acting while trying to appear like some major surprise was just so fake and a letdown, because the rumors said so. It took the surprise outta everything. Next time, try to keep a tight lid on it, like Jobs did, Mr. Cook. There will be twice as much excitement if you do, guaranteed…

      1. History is always re written to suit the arguments of the writer. The difference now is the technology and the pre dominance of Leaky suppliers who hard access to so much more of the product. It’s no different with other companies it’s just there is less interest in this products.

  2. Hey, nobody leaked the design of the Watch prior to the announcement, right? That’s something, at least. And it’s not like anyone saw Swift or Metal coming, or a good chunk of the goodies in iOS 8. So Cupertino can keep a lid on things when it has direct control over the situation.

    It’s when other people get involved (suppliers and assembly plants, partner companies, musicians, etc.) that Apple’s plans start leaking.

  3. “The watch — which won’t appear until 2015..”
    The AppleWatch wasn’t leaked … because it doesn’t exist as a product yet. Until then it’s vaporware. One can’t praise TIm for that. Saying wait until next year is an epic fail as far as sales strategies go. Smacks of desperation to impress. Between now and next year the buyer excitement will fade drastically and 3rd parties will have a heyday adding features in order to claim “ours does it too”. Steve would have fired his ass for this.

    1. Fair enough. Apple weren’t able to assemble all the resources for a timely launch. Tim Cook did the next best thing — make an announcement. What would you have done in that situation, under the cruel Klieg lights of scrutiny? Steve Jobs is dead and will stay dead. Replace him, already, if you have the godlike power.

    2. They had to announce it for many reasons:

      1. It shores up the ecosystem – some consumers won’t jump ship to a competing brand because they know the Apple Watch is on the way. Others who currently have competing smartphones will purchase the new iPhones knowing that Apple will soon be offering a variety of beautiful smartwatches.

      2. It gives time for third party developers to invent and develop apps for it.

      Many recent competing products were announced months in advance such as the Moto 360. That smartwatch just sold out in a matter hours.

      1. Since the Apple Watch is awaiting FCC approval, just as the original iPhone was when it was announced, Apple really had no choice but to take this opportunity to announce it. Once that FCC approval is granted and mass production can start, the details of the watch will be public knowledge.

        1. I doubt the Apple Watch needs FCC approval as its radio range is not great enough to require it, being only Blutooth (under 30 feet) and NFC (mere inches). It does not have cellular capability. That’s what really requires FCC certification.

    3. Now that the people in other countries know the value of the intel to geeks like us, no product will be a secret once it is in production. So. AppleWatch’s design was secret because it’s not in production yet. If we were getting it on the 19th, we’d already know what it looked like. And I will bet with you it’s not vapor ware!

    4. If you read the fine print at the bottom go the Apple Watch page (“This device has not been authorized as required by the rules of the Federal Communications Commission. This device is not, and may not be, offered for sale or lease, or sold or leased, until authorization is obtained.”), you’ll see it’s awaiting FCC approval before it can go on sale. Apple won’t start mass production until it gets that approval.

  4. Steve Jobs was unique s a presenter and evangelist for technology. Cook is a logistician and not an engineer. His direction will be different as a result.
    The idea that the watch can be $350 or over $1,000 unlocks the opportunity to make a shed load of money from a gold cased product as well as a lesser amonunt from those with lesser means. Getting the rich to pay a fortune for a watch may lead to the same scenario with the iPhone in solid gold in the future. Lots of profits to be made.

    1. i wrote this comment earlier under another article:

      “years ago I posted that Apple should drop the ‘i’ name because so many have trademark it (Apple paid 60 million for ‘iPad’ to the trademark owner in China) instead just use ‘Apple’ like Apple Pad (Apple Mac, Apple Tv etc). It just ties the Apple brand together , many people – in Asia for example – do not even know that the iPhone maker also makes ‘MacBooks as the naming system is different.

      Nobody can trademark ‘Apple Watch’ before Apple: solves ENDLESS hassles. The iPad was delayed for two years or something in china due to the iPad trademark issue, so losing millions beside the trademark payment of 60 million (60 m is more than Amazon makes in an average quarter)”

      1. Of course somebody could have trademarked Apple Watch. Why not? Apple the company is not the only use of the word Apple, and Apple the company wasn’t in the watch business.

        Apple doesn’t write it as Apple Watch, though. They write it  WATCH. That no one else could have trademarked.

        1. you could be right

          but Apple originally when it first started couldn’t even be registered to sell computers because Apple Corps (a music company ) held the ‘Apple’ trademark. Apple had to negotiate with it to use ‘Apple’ for everything except music. Later when Apple went into ‘music’ with iTunes there was legal hassle as well. So the name ‘Apple ‘ for a company seems pretty proprietary.

          Couldn’t any company calling a watch an Apple Watch be in violation of Apple Inc. since Apple is a registered company name?

          In a legal fight too Apple seems to have a better case for it than ‘i’.

          As seen from the recent court judgement on iPad mini where Apple lost the trademark the ruling was that ‘i’ was generic :

          Ruling:
          “The term “IPAD” is descriptive when applied to applicant’s goods because the prefix “I” denotes“internet.” According to the attached evidence, the letter “i” or “I” used as a prefix and would be understood by the purchasing public to refer to the Internet when used in relation to Internet-related products or services. Applicant’s goods are identified as “capable of providing access to the Internet”.When a mark consists of this prefix coupled with a descriptive word or term for Internet-related goods and/or services, then the entire mark may be considered merely descriptive.
          SeeIn re Zanova, Inc.”

          Anyhow as I’m no trademark lawyer like I said at the start you could be right…

            1. I suspect that a company like say Swatch made one before it could be called Swatch Apple Watch .

              but can Swatch sue Apple if Apple called it’s watch Apple Watch ? I don’t think so as Apple itself is a registered company name (unlike Proview successfully suing apple 60 million for the iPad name as Apple has no inherent rights to it) see the difference?

              Also like I said Apple had to pay Apple Corps money to sell Apple computers although Apple corps (which represented the Beetles I think) didn’t make computers.

              I still think Apple using Apple is on much firmer ground legally than using “i”.

              anyhow I’m not really fighting to be right in this as like I said I’m no trademark lawyer.
              cheers.

          1. It only has to be unique in its sector. Since Apple Corps. (The Beetles) was in music before Apple Computer, Inc., came along, the computer maker had trouble with the music maker when the former entered the music market.

            Apple could call the watch Crest and it wouldn’t infringe on the mark Proctor and Gamble owns since it’s not in the same industry. They’d undoubtedly be sued for creating confusion in the marketplace, but what’s a little “free” publicity among friends and competitors 😉

            1. “Since Apple Corps. (The Beetles) was in music before Apple Computer, Inc., ”

              the original case had nothing to do with music.
              Apple Corps sued Apple for selling Apple COMPUTERS (although Apple Corps had nothing to do with computers. They sued them for using the Apple NAME. )

              wikipedia:
              “In 1978, Apple Corps, the Beatles-founded holding company and owner of their record label, Apple Records, filed a lawsuit against Apple Computer for trademark infringement. ”

              that’s years and years before iPod, iTunes etc.
              Apple paid them and Apple agreed not to go into music products .
              Later when Apple did go into music products Apple Corps sued again.

            2. And if you click on the link in that wikipedia article (trademark infringement) you see just what I was talking about: “…in relation to products or services which are identical or similar to the products or services which the registration covers.” And that’s exactly why that first case was settled out of court for $80K.

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