Why has Tim Cook broken Apple’s vow of silence?

“Of course, [Apple Inc.] has to update the markets every quarter about its financial performance, but even then it can be parsimonious – there were no Apple Watch sales figures in the latest quarterly release,” Rory Cellan-Jones writes for BBC News. “All the more surprising then that the CEO should choose to release some very sensitive information to a TV journalist.”

“On Monday, with global stock markets in a panic over China and Apple’s stock tanking, Tim Cook replied to an email from Jim Cramer, the colourful host of the CNBC programme Mad Money,” Cellan-Jones writes. “The key point was this: ‘I can tell you that we have continued to experience strong growth for our business in China through July and August.’ The market, which had sent Apple shares down 10% at the beginning of trading, responded swiftly, with the company recovering $78bn of its lost market value.”

“Now, there are strict rules in the UK and the US about the release of sensitive financial information. Everyone is supposed to get that data at the same time, so giving something as important as this to a TV presenter seems, to put it mildly, unconventional,” Cellan-Jones writes. “What is also strange about Tim Cook’s behaviour is that he was at all worried about the gyrations in Apple’s share price. Throughout the period in late 2012 and the first half of 2013, when the market fell out of love with the firm and its shares fell around 40% from their peak, Apple executives showed remarkable sang froid… Surely Apple can just wait for the next quarterly results – and presumably a new iPhone in September – and everything will be fine again? This is a company that has delighted in forging its own path, deaf to the day-to-day hubbub of the markets. Perhaps the fact that it now seems to be listening to that noise is what should really worry investors.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Maybe Cramer simply caught Cook while he was still half asleep at 5am PDT and Tim simply dashed off a quick reply without fully thinking it through?

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CEO Tim Cook to Jim Cramer: Apple is seeing strong growth in China through July, August – August 24, 2015


    1. “All the more surprising then that the CEO should choose to release some very sensitive information to a TV journalist.”

      TC did not provide unit data, or anything else that was not provided in management’s September guidance (from July that implied >30% YoY Net Income growth).

  1. the main point of the article is in the last 4 words: blablabla “should really worry investors”.

    There’s NO relation to the headline.
    So, we can safely answer the question in the headline with “No.”

  2. One point to note in all this is that Tim’s unusual action not only saved APPL but put a stop in general the the madness happening in the market. He may be credited with preventing a much deeper drop than actually happened. Everyone on the market should be grateful.

    1. I wonder if Apple was _asked_ by powerful people to help head off some of the damage.

      Presidential administrations of all stripes leak information illegally when it is what they consider helpful propaganda. Whistleblowers who leak info that embarrasses those in power get prosecuted. Insider government “sources” who leak something helpful to photo-copy-journalists do not.

      Is it possible that Tim Cook knew full well that he didn’t have to worry about an SEC investigation, even if what he did might technically not be allowed?

    2. Unusual? More likely illegal. Cook’s actions were a clear violation of SEC rules. He’s the CEO of Apple, not some powdered talking head on a cable channel, and he’s not allowed to intervene in the markets by offering privileged information that might sway investor opinions one way or the other. I hope they slap a hefty fine on his highly-compensated ass.

      1. “Cook’s actions were a clear violation of SEC rules. ”

        Bullshit. No more detail was provided that the guidance Apple gave in July’s conference call. i.e. September quarter 2015 results would be >30% higher than September quarter 2014.

  3. Maybe it is possible that Apple would like to openly callout all the BS and FUD that the talking heads use to manipulate Apple’s stock into the ground in court. I would really like to see that in court. What about the regular crap about how Apple isn’t selling the correct number of iPods, iPhones, Macs, … that is spread everywhere. Where did they get that so-called insider information (crap) from? Is the issue only that the information from Apple is correct and the rest is just a dirty Wall Street lie used to tear money from frightened old retired investors? Yes, the Fed needs to prosecute some people. Lets do in in chronological order. Tim Cook’s case may come up next century if he lives that long!

  4. Mmmm an analytical snack, so tasteless, so lacking in nutrition, who can resist?

    First chop up the headline: “It must be one of the most secretive companies on earth. Apple will never talk – in public or off the record – about forthcoming products.” and just a slicing Tim Cook comment later “”I can tell you that we have continued to experience strong growth for our business in China through July and August.”” Gee whizz Rory, I don’t see anything in Tim Cook’s quote about a forthcoming product.

    And while it does have to update markets Apple makes a lot of statements. Hey, they made a statement about their approach to privacy a way back, must have been while you were hibernating.

    There is nothing strange about Tim’s behavior and your conclusion that he was worried about the share price is mere analytical speculation is very similar to that brown material that runs down your legs and puddles on your floor in the morning. Tim was not initiating any messages he was replying to an inquiry. People do that you know Rory.

    Giving credence to your hallucinatory projections can be fun so I’ll inject some conspiratorial slant into your chopped up hype of thesis and point out that perhaps Apple has never been deaf to the whining hubris of the and has recently discovered how to do their own stock manipulation and this was just a test drive.

    Oh I hope that keeps you up at night with your sheep. Baaaaaa now Rory.

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