Apple CEO Tim Cook is smarter than you think

“The onetime chief executive of networking firm Cisco Systems, John Chambers, was once renowned for prognosticating on the health of the world economy,” Tiernan Ray writes for Barron’s. “So pervasive were Cisco’s products in every corner of the globe that people used to hang on his every word as if he were some kind of central banker, in hopes of divining clues from him as to the state of the universe.”

“Chambers’ role has been taken up by the chief executive of Apple, Tim Cook, who last week told Wall Street that the company’s sales growth is being constrained by ‘an environment now that is dramatically different from a macroeconomic point of view’ than a year earlier,” Ray writes. “There was all manner of hand-wringing about Apple following Cook’s performance, much of it panicked and silly. Any outfit that can sell 74.8 million of anything in three months — in this case, iPhones — is a formidable company, even if that number was slightly disappointing compared with the most exuberant expectations. Apple generated a staggering $27.5 billion in cash from operations in those three months, but the focus was on a tiny shortfall in iPhone sales.”

“Apple continues to innovate. Its products continue to have features no one else has and to serve as useful tools. The iPhone will persist, having increased its share of world smartphone sales last year to 16.2% from 14.8% a year earlier. It will have better years and worse years, but it will endure as a franchise,” Ray writes. “In the meantime, there is an area of technology where Apple badly lags behind its peers, and where it can and should make more meaningful progress, and that’s cloud computing… And Cook is an able leader to direct those efforts.”

Read more in the full article – highly recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Take: Amen.

38 Comments

  1. I never doubted that he was smart. I’m not part of the bash Tim Cook because he’s not Steve Jobs crowd. Those who are need to shut the hell up or just quit buying Apple products. I’m sick of seeing people bitch and moan about Tim Cook.

    1. 1. Cook is smarter than many people.
      2. Cook isn’t prescient, the condition of the global economy is visible to anyone who can read.
      3. Cook has not ruined Apple, though there is certainly more than a little reason to suggest that he needs help, better help, steering Apple and finding a viable vision going forward. This is probably better than most CEOs could have done.

      1. Considering the shoes he had to fill, Tim Cook has done an outstanding job at Apple. I agree that he should surround himself with better people. Jonny Ive seems to be making a slow exit. Some new ideas would be great to see, but I would hate to see Apple move away from its core design themes of simplicity and minimalism.

        1. You know what’s funny about the simplicity and minimalism thing? The more I use LINUX, the more I notice the simplicity and minimalism. Apple is a convoluted mix of desktop os/mobile device os/Apple ID hell and disjoint services.

          I don’t notice it when I’m using Apple products, but I do notice it when helping new users deal with things.

          1. I agree about the Apple ID issues. If they would allow their customers to merge IDs, it would solve a lot of problems. I don’t agree that it’s convoluted. I find Apple’s OS strategy very simple. They have done a great job. As for Linux, it’s losing its simplicity in a lot of ways. Ubuntu seems to be getting very bloated. I host email through Kerio Connect on CentOS servers. CentOS is very simple. I don’t run it with a GUI.

      1. Really? And just because you said it, I should believe it? Anyone can come here and spew dumbass comments like that, but can those same people run a multinational corporation with tens of thousands of employees? There are some things that I don’t like about Tim Cook, but those things pale in comparison to the things that I do like. Why don’t you stop and think intelligently instead of being a mind numbed troll?

        1. @Howie Isaacks

          And who are you, little Howie, Cook’s agent?

          He sucks, plain and simple.

          He has done nothing but f*ck for the last 5-years. If allowed to continue, he will ruin Apple!

          Apple products are so overpriced, underpowered, poorly made and ill conceived that I’m just sticking with my iPhone and iPad, because there isn’t a single reason to EVER upgrade… at least as long as that clown is running the show.

            1. Okay Howie girl, lets go:

              Tim Cook:

              Has botched EVERY single product launch he was associated with!

              Routinely releases buggy, half-baked, and flaky product updates and operating systems!

              Destroyed Quality Assurance at Apple!

              Destroyed PR at Apple!

              Destroyed Marketing at Apple!

              Hired and fired all the wrong executives!

              Created this Wallstreet meltdown with his FAILED stock buybacks, losing tens of billions of shareholder value!

              Bypassed his role as an Apple employee, in order to brand Apple as a gay company (as though Apple were his own company), in order to promote his personal political agenda, which by the way has NOTHING to do with his job description as CEO!

              Ruined the following products by crippling them: Macbook, Mac Pro!

              Has the nerve to sell $3000 Macs in 2016 with 5400 rpm hard drives (not even 7200 rpm), let alone SSDs, in order to rip off loyal Apple consumers… completely shameful!

              Still selling 16GB iphones in 2016, in order to ripoff loyal Apple consumers!

              Created the unnecessary lightning connector (which doesn’t last any longer than the 30-pin), in order to destroy an entire industry and ripoff loyal Apple consumers once again (going to continue the trend by getting rid of the headphone jack also… just pure greed)!

              Gave us the forgettable, overpriced, poorly made Apple Watch!

              Lazily milked the iPad into irrelevance without upgrading it!

              Gave us an iPad Pro without ‘pro’ features, just a pro price gouge (while curiously leaving out Force Touch and faster Touch ID)!

              Gave us the underpowered, overpriced Macbook with a single port and a Macbook Pro pricetag!

              Gave us buggy and poorly implemented Apple Music, when free alternatives are far better!

              Milked the iPhone into negative growth!

              Broke the ATV 4 yet increased the price, and still released it with a half-baked OS, even though consumers waited years for an update, while competing products offer better features!

              And this list goes on infinitely.

              Tim Cook is a f*ck up, a radically gay activist posing as a CEO, and a hypocrite!

            2. It’s fair to say that some of Apple’s product launches have been botched. I agree with that. The Apple Watch launch last year, the Mac Pro, and Apple Pen come to mind. Apple should definitely work on that, and I hope that they do. I don’t think that Apple’s OS is buggy, half-baked, or flaky. I work with them every day as both a user and as a managed I.T. service provider. Quality assurance has not been destroyed, but in some cases, it needs work. PR hasn’t been destroyed, and neither has marketing. Since I don’t know everything about Apple’s inner workings (and neither do you), I won’t comment on Tim Cook’s hiring and firing. I’m not a financial expert, so I will avoid commenting on the stock buybacks. I don’t think that Tim Cook should push his own personal agenda as CEO of Apple. I’ve said that many times. Neither the MacBook, or Mac Pro are crippled. I looked through Apple’s website and I found no Macs that cost $3000 that still have a 5400RPM hard drive. I agree that Apple should stop selling 16GB iPhones, but isn’t it our choice which iPhone to buy? I have a 16GB iPhone. Tim Cook did not hold a gun to my head and tell me to buy it. I think the Lightning connector is far better than the 30 pin connector. I guess you have a lot of 30 pin accessories. Tough shit. Deal with it. And by the way… delivering sound through the lightning connection will result in BETTER sound. Don’t like that? Don’t buy an iPhone if Apple drops the headphone jack. I love my Apple Watch, and I don’t think of it as overpriced. I’m looking forward to seeing the product develop and grow. The iPad is not irrelevant. Did you ever stop to think that the replacement cycle of an iPad is slower than that of an iPhone? I think the iPad Pro is great. It’s a first generation product. If you don’t like it, don’t buy one. If the MacBook isn’t something that will fit your needs, don’t buy one. Everyone I know who has one loves it. They bought the MacBook knowing full well that it only has one port. If they needed more, they could have bought a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro. I think Apple Music is great. It could use a lot of improvement, but I prefer it over other services. Since I’m not a cheap bastard, I don’t mind paying for it. I don’t consider my Apple TV 4 to be “broke”. It’s awesome. The price is good. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. In summary, I think you’re someone who can’t afford Apple products, so you bash that which you can’t have just to make yourself feel better. I love Apple, but I’m a realist. They have definitely made mistakes both with Tim Cook at the helm, and before Tim Cook. You’re the type of person that no one wants as a customer. All you have to offer is hate. You don’t deserve any more of my time. Now piss off!

            3. The entry level iMac (21.5″) starts with a 5400 rpm hard drive (welcome to 1996)! You really need to learn how to surf the Web and READ, Howie.

              If you want a Fusion (combo platter/SSD drive), or full SSD, Tim Cook will gouge you for more money! You can easily spec one of these out for big money, and still be stuck with this ridiculous 5400 rpm HDD drive! You can thank Cook for that.

              And yeah, soon Google will usurp Apple as the most valuable company, you can thank Cook for that also!

              Cook allowed Samsung tablets to catch up, and you can pick one up for half the price of an iPad. Since Cook hasn’t allowed the current iPad to do anything that the original iPad can’t accomplish (i.e. NO INNOVATION), then yes, the iPad is now irrelevant.

              If your response to me and millions of other Apple consumers is to “Don’t buy the Apple product, if you don’t like”… an old Chinese proverb says: “Be careful of what you wish for, as you just might get it.”

          1. Share holder unanimosly approve of Tim Cook and vote their confodence on a regular basis every year.

            You ain’t nothing but a hound dog troll and you know what?;

            You don’t count.

  2. I believe Tim Cook suffers from Southerner bias. He’s from Alabama. Auburn. Not to mention Duke. Therefore dumb. Listen to Trump. He’s Ivy League. Therefore the brightest bulb in the fixture. It’s just a subset of white privilege. It’s northeasterner privilege. In other circles it’s called bigotry. Thankfully, for him and us, Tim Cook is comfortable in his own skin.

    1. Mindless dribble like that is what will hold a lot of people back. This stupid victimhood mentality that some people have over what they see as “white privilege” is the real evil. The real racists are the people who constantly obsess about race and see racial bias in everything. When I meet someone I’m focused on the person. Who they are, the content and quality of their character, and how they treat me are more important than any physical characteristic. I don’t pretend to be color blind. I know someone is black or Asian, etc. But race is only a tiny part of who someone is. Tim Cook is who he is based on more than his color, his university, or his place of birth. Attaching stupid labels to him make you look sad and pathetic.

      1. I don’t give a damn where someone went to school. I never mentioned Trump or either Bush. That said, these men are not bad because they took the opportunities that they were given to them. I don’t envy people of wealth. Instead, I aspire to be someone of wealth. Jealousy and hate will never make you a success. They just make you an asshole who is destined to leech off those of us who work hard to be successful.

    1. Anyone who is CEO at the pleasure of a large board of directors, who are some of the sharpest people around, are not going to tolerate a CEO that is not super-sharp.

      Like, you really want Michael Dell in that position?

  3. n the meantime, there is an area of technology where Apple badly lags behind its peers, and where it can and should make more meaningful progress, and that’s cloud computing…

    Oh hell yes. Apple continues to stumble, fumble and bumble in the field, despite many years of ‘trying’. I’ve never understood why they never went at it full bore and why they’ve allowed to be buggy.

    1. It’s called growing pains. 5 years ago when they started to get serious about the cloud (and actually had a clear vision of what they wanted), Apple was a fraction of the size is it now. Since then they’ve built and continue to build data centers all over the world to handle the problems, which can really only be solved with redundancy (more data centers).

      They’ll get there.

  4. Cook has done many great things but also made some incredibly dumb decisions as well. He stayed with the 4 inch iPhone size for an additional 2 years when it was clear the market wanted larger screen sizes. He let the iOS stagnate and fall behind all of Google’s apps. He let Samsung for a few years become the innovator. He has stuck to the Apple / Jobs mantra we only make a few products but the best products. Well for investors in the company thats not how you keep growing the company as we have seen growth stall. So I give him credit for some great achievements at Apple but overall it’s a mixed record.

  5. I have lost faith in Tim Cook’s credibility, he is not CEO material in my opinion. Let’s not forget he made egregious statement last Fall in China saying he dismissed any impact of the news regarding China’s economy shrink on the consumer spending (misleading as he either knew better or too busy with his personal global politics). He has made other misleading statements about suppliers orders cutbacks, and how strong Apple’s future is. It was quite a gut punch to hear him sheepishly backpedaling and being quite defensive, did not instill much confidence. He sold thousands of his AAPL shares at upwards of $120 up to blackout before FQ4 earnings call and I believe he had some indication of the sudden downturn in units to be sold, and there is some conjecture they channel stuffed just to match YoY comparisons. Sold my 7000 shares at break even after holding many years. I will vote to have him and cronies removed, let’s get some real visionaries and professional corporate leadership, then I will have more confidence in Apple.

  6. If Steve were still alive, I am not sure he would do a better job leading Apple than Tim. Apple is an incredibly large and complex organization for a micromanager, even a brilliant one. Apart from the question of Tim Cook’s worthiness to succeed Steve, who is a living CEO that could do a better job than Tim leading today’s Apple?

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