Apple tumbles 24 spots – from 5th to 29th – in Harris Reputation Poll

“Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google corporate brands dropped in an annual survey while Inc maintained the top spot for the third consecutive year, and electric carmaker Telsa Inc rocketed higher after sending a red Roadster into space,” Stephen Nellis reports for Reuters. “Apple dropped to 29th from its previous position of No. 5, and Google dropped from 8th to No. 28. Apple had ranked No. 2 as recently as 2016, according to the annual Harris Poll Reputation Quotient poll released on Tuesday.”

“The poll, conducted since 1999, surveyed 25,800 U.S. adults from Dec. 11 to Jan. 12 on the reputations the ‘most visible’ corporate brands,” Nellis reports. “John Gerzema, CEO of the Harris Poll, told Reuters in an interview that the likely reason Apple and Google fell was that they have not introduced as many attention-grabbing products as they did in past years, such as when Google rolled out free offerings like its Google Docs word processor or Google Maps and Apple’s then-CEO Steve Jobs introduced the iPod, iPhone and iPad.”

“Elon Musk’s Tesla climbed from No. 9 to No. 3 on the strength of sending Tesla Roadster into space aboard a SpaceX rocket – despite fleeting success delivering cars on time on earth, Gerzema said,” Nellis reports. “‘He’s a modern-day carnival barker – it’s incredible,’ Gerzema said of Musk.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Unsurprising. This is just another sign of what we’ve been warning about for over three years now. Misplaced priorities and mismanagement are the causes.

“But, Macs were just named No.1 in a reliability poll!” some exclaim. Well, yes, they were that much better than Windows dreck. Even years of disinterest and beta-quality (and worse) software releases couldn’t drive the Mac’s reliability down to Windows PC levels.

“Oh, but AAPL just hit a new all-time high!” other exclaim. Luckily for Tim Cook, Steve Jobs left him a perpetual profit machine that can absorb pretty much any lackadaisical fsckatude that can be thrown into the spokes.. — MacDailyNews, November 17, 2017

Apple could be run better than it currently is with more visionary leadership whose number one priority is delighting the customers of Apple Inc. by delivering exceptional products – as it was under Steve Jobs – but that will never happen because Steve Jobs left a company with so much momentum, that the cumulative effects of management mistakes won’t slow it down for years, if not decades. That is why Tim Cook has a free ride to plant trees in China while selling an over four-year “Mac Pro” as new today. (Note: It’s fine to plant trees in China, release coffee table books, etc. after you’ve competently performed the basic aspects of your job – like having first-rate, up-to-date products available for sale. When you do such things in spite of offering old product, incomplete product, flawed product, late product, and no product, you leave yourself open to criticism.)

Regardless, as long as the money keeps rolling in and share prices continue to climb, Tim Cook et al. aren’t going anywhere, but make no mistake: Apple could be performing better (we’re talking for customers here, not stock price) and would be with more focused, disciplined, visionary leadership. We gave Tim Cook much benefit of the doubt, but, as always, we call ’em like we see ’em. It’s not like Steve Jobs had the most stellar record of picking Apple CEOs.

Apple CEO Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook
In 2017, Apple CEO Tim Cook was paid well over a quarter of a million dollars per day ($279,452/day), yet his company could not manage to ship a fully-capable smart speaker (with multi-room, multi-user, and stereo paring capabilities) for 3 years, 3 months, and 4 days and counting after Amazon invented the category.

Regardless of the profits and stock performance, many will say: Too many mistakes too richly rewarded. The recent lack of focus, timely performance, and vexing issues with quality control (that should not exist in the world’s most valuable company, 40+ years after inception) will, if continued, negatively impact the company and future executives years down the road, likely not the current set.MacDailyNews, December 28, 2017

Daring Fireball‘s John Gruber wrote in January, “How does [HomePod] handle multiple people in the same home? That seems like a big question to remain unanswered before folks start plunking down $349. This feels like if Apple had started selling the iPod back in 2001 without ever having explained how the click wheel worked or how you synced music to it from iTunes, and instead just said ‘Trust us, it’s great.’ AirPlay 2 has been postponed until ‘later this year’ — and AirPlay 2 is required for using two HomePods in stereo or multi-room audio. Both of those features were promised all the way back in June when HomePod was announced.”

Exit question: How much would Apple Inc. be worth today had a Jeff Bezos-type CEO taken over the reins instead?MacDailyNews, November 21, 2017

Apple shakes up software development strategy to focus on quality – February 12, 2018
Apple on Mac flaw: ‘We apologize to all Mac users. Our customers deserve better. We are auditing our development processes.’ – November 29, 2017
Tim Cook’s sloppy, unfocused Apple rushes to fix a major Mac security bug – November 29, 2017
What to do about Apple’s shameful Mac security flaw in macOS High Sierra – November 29, 2017
Under ‘operations genius’ Tim Cook, product delays and other problems are no longer unusual for Apple – November 20, 2017
Apple’s desperate Mac Pro damage control message hints at a confused, divided company – April 6, 2017
On the future of Apple’s Macintosh – February 6, 2017
Apple is misplaying the hand Steve Jobs left them – November 30, 2016
Open letter to Tim Cook: Apple needs to do better – January 5, 2015


  1. Apple has issues….‪When is the calendar app location issues going to be fixed? A critical path item that has not been fixed since OS11 came out, sooooo tired of the app hanging or force quitting. Talk about a daily productivity waste! Get it together Apple and fix this! ‬I am surprised they haven’t dropped more

  2. MDN: “…his company could not manage to ship a fully capable smart speaker 3 years, 3 months, 4 days and counting after Amazon invented the category.”

    Some (I) would say this is part of Apple’s problem — that shipping a “smart speaker” was/is a priority at all. The fact that a product category exists is not a reason to be in it. Jobs’s (I know, but…) Apple did not ship products just to be in a category. They developed constantly, and only shipped if and when they believed had something BETTER to contribute a category (see iPhone/iOS, iPod, Thunderbolt Display, etc.)

    Now they’re just playing feature keep-up and product-matchup.

  3. Tim is doing an incredible job. Guess what, humans aren’t perfect. If there is another Steve Jobs out there he sure as hell won’t work for Apple (who he’ll label as the big enemy like IBM), and instead will likely start a company that will take Apple down. Tim Cook is as good as it can get as a successor.

  4. Apple is running on the Steve Jobs pipeline, basically on what Apple was working on before he died. The roadmap consists of all things iPhone and iOS. You have phones watches and pads doing well, while everything goes in the toilet. Not much change in any of the OSX hardware. It is as it was when Jobs was around. 0 innovation in this group that heads up Apple.

    1. I disagree (somewhat). There were significant OS X hardware changes:
      – the Mac Mini was crippled,
      – the Mac Pro was allowed to grow obsolete.

      Both were horrible, premeditated decisions by Tim Cook.

    2. Tim Cook has been merely harvesting the fruits of the seeds Jobs planted in his days. Since then, there was nothing exciting or new coming out of Apple. Other brasses were silenced and quiet. Now after fooling around with random experiments such as the Project Titan or whatever plausible name they used, all Apple could do was steal somebody else’s “old” idea of home speaker. Sigh…..

  5. Cook believes ‘We don’t think hate speech from white supremacists is important free speech’

    Unfortunately, just being White makes you a White Supremacist in the eyes of the Leftists that now control Apple.

    Cook and Apple now officially hate more than half of America.

    1. So you self identify as a white supremacist.

      Gary, if this is your value system and what Apple does is offensive to you, please throw away your liberal Apple products and boycott the evil California company. Anything less would make you a white supremacist hypocrite.

      See how easy it is to sling labels?

      In a larger sense, we must be concerned when people put their faith in unelected multinational corporations while actively supporting politicians who claim to want to destroy the ability of the democratically elected peoples representatives to reign in the unchecked corporate power and greed.

      Appleis flexing its muscles because in the current fashion, riches justify whatever you want to do. Why does everyone act surprised when Apple does what all other corporations do? IMHO Apple isn’t the worst. Yes Cook missed his calling as a social justice community organizer but the investors here seem content to let him milk Jobs’ creations. As long as it is profitable, the extreme righties can’t argue. The only purpose of a corporation is to enrich the investor, so what can you say? If you want Apple to be conservative and profits decline, what would you say?

      Anyway Apple has always been liberal compared to dirty old industry. It is just marketing its superficial feel good image to worldwide youth while equal and opposite groups campaign actively for opposing causes: both do it to increase their own power and wealth. The biggest difference is Apple looks forward while the old companies are looking backward. An array of old white men are not satisfied with being billionaires, they want to live in a segregated society. Like their forefathers two generations ago, they exert a Nazi-like misinformation campaign riling up xenophobia and divisionism. The disgusting Murdochs and Mercers and Drudges of the world don’t do science or fact checking or history. They cherry pick, exaggerate, argue slippery slope speculation, sell a narrative in attractive self-serving terms. Ideological warfare spread with simplistic mass media reinforced by repetition instead of facts. It appears Gary is a loyal customer of the haterade. Go ahead Gary, Apple doesn’t need your cash.

  6. The list of issues is long and its easy for Apple to make excuses, however you rarely hear those, most of the time its crickets from Apple, even when they do something really dumb that generates dozens of lawsuits..

    How difficult is it to add a detailed release notes to an IOS or Mac OS release? What do we get most of the time? A marketing feature list. When updates come out do we get detailed notes on what’s fixed or changed? Sometimes it seems, but important items seem to be left out or improperly highlighted… and you wind up going to Mac Websites to watch videos or read articles on what someone else dug up. This stuff should come from Apple..

    The HomePod is over-priced, it sounds good, when I heard one in an Apple Store, but its not worth the current cost. it maybe worth $149 or $199.. And if you want to eventually deploy a “pair” if AirPlay 2 ever really shows up, Apple better have a good, though probably excessively priced bundle cost, not just spend $700 for a pair..

    Where is the new Mac Pro, Apple comes out with the iMac Pro and the Mac Pro seems to have fallen off the radar? Apple’s secretive nature needs some adjustment.

    For some software problems I give Apple some slack on, IOS and Mac OS are very complicated now, much more than the used to be.. Though the beta process I think could be refined and since of course there is nothing anywhere on how Apple internally tests that I’ve seen anywhere , what automation do they have that tries to insure stability? When problems are reported, do they followup appropriately? the list could go on…

  7. The way things are going at the Mothership these days, it may be time for some good ol’ fashioned Deja Vu — bring on the 21st century version of Diesel Mike!

  8. I read through what that poll is supposed to test for and it looks like another stupid good for nothing poll. Amazon #1 Really? I would rather have companies that care for our privacy and care for the environment. Yes Apple might of had some missteps but when you look at what they are doing as responsible planet dwellers they should be on top.

  9. are always going to bring loose ends, but Apple’s problems with the staples/basics are what is concerning.
    Tim’s 1/4 million/day mandates the stable of products meet timely release dates. For example, would it be better, or ideal if the Homepod’s multi-room functionality was known at release? Absolutely!
    On the other hand, should typical/expected product updates languish for years? Should product releases align with strategic dates/period…like Homepod and Christmas buying season (missed-oops)? Absofarkinlutely.
    There are too many of this type of miss to list and they’re w/o excuse. This level of complaint has nothing to do with “Tim’s doing great–look at the stock price, or “SJ is gone–he’ll never be truly replaced.” This is basic/element business process and the “operational genius” is distracted, or…?

  10. There was a time when I was passionate for Apple, primarily because of its role in leading the personal computer revolution. From its inception until Jobs’ death, I could find fault with Apple but it never diminished my love for Apple and my belief that it was the best of the best. But with Cook, I have seen Apple steadily decline. In small ways, bit by bit, much like the way we lose personal rights in America. A mediocre iOS. A buggy macOS diverging from usability and elegance, flexibility and power. Form over function. Planned obsolescence. Obsession with thinness to the point of anorexia. And more. In short, I still buy Apple when a product fails and must be replaced. But I buy the cheapest product because none interest me at all, though I resent buying products at premium prices that haven’t been updated in years. Often seemingly forever in technological terms. I see Apple today as Sculley 2.0 and heading towards a Sony Microsoft vision. Competent in many ways, but not exciting. Certainly not delivering the best user experience possible. Maybe for shareholders, but not for the environment nor its customer’s wallets. I pine for the days of the scrappy underdog that drove Apple to shine brighter than the competition. Maybe Apple 4.0 will light my fire. I sure hope so.

  11. Slightly off topic:

    Wegmans at #2. I’m lucky to live in an area with a Weggys. They remind me of Apple in a few ways, including how pleasant it is to shop there, versus the warehouse cattle drive of most grocery stores. But they remind me of Apple in a sad way as well. Wegmans is now in the business, more than ever, of GOUGING their customers. This is done even to the extent of no longer providing large sizes of products for the purpose of saving money. Instead, victims are forced to buy the smaller, more expensive version of a product. I hate that. It sends me off to the bulk stores instead. Victims still go to Weggys anyway because the competition is that much WORSE. It’s kind of like the Mac vs PC market MDN describes above. You go to Weg’s because you’re going to be treated as a human being, instead of just another piece of meat with ¢a$h that walked in the door to buy crud products at gouging prices. *sigh*

    The customer remains king. But in the USA, corporations abuse their king as standard practice. The king is sad.

    1. Wegman’s is the best grocery store. Super high quality, massive selection and competitive prices. I don’t experience the gouging you refer to.

      I like Costco a lot, too, but that is not the same thing.

  12. This conjuring up the spirit of Steve Jobs is boring and counterproductive. SJ personally chose Tim to succeed him, do not forget that.

    They knew each other very very well. If you think SJ was a god, then have FAITH that our Great SJ had vision, and things are going well, generally. The many whiners are not sure what exactly could be done better. Apple has a sterling reputation and a great future. I completely LOVE my Apple watch series 3. Series 1 was not good, but Series 3 is spot on. Tim is a person with high personal moral standards, and that apparently was what Steve saw in him.

    1. Sorry, the high personal standards is just one quality. The mastery of supply side contracts and cornering markets to frustrate wannabee’s from access to suppliers, is a very shrewd skill, one that matters. 3D facial recognition is currently “locked in” by Cook and by Apple, which will lead to about 1-2 year delay before copycats can do it. They also are buying raw supplies needed for batteries directly from the mines! This to prevent electric cars from taking the supplies. You can read about it here on Macdaily, if you haven’t already.

    2. I have this nagging feeling that Jobs appointed Tim Cook as a caretaker to steady Apple until the “real one” could take it over in a few years. Tim Cook is versed in supply chain management, and that’s where he should stay. Jobs needed him to avoid any “wave making” to manage Apple, but I do not think he was looking to Cook for Apple’s real mojo. Delivering the millions of little gadget every year is no small task for sure, and Cook is doing a superb job, using his “past” skills. But he has no vision, engineering flare, or any of those needed quality that Jobs had and needed to lead Apple into the 21st century. the “real one” whom Jobs had nurtured quietly was quickly fired by Cook (with some suspicious reasons), who probably felt that his job was threatened. Cook must be actually a ruthless man, silencing other talents. You hear almost nothing from other brasses than Cook. He is the only one who speaks and when he speaks, he speaks mostly gibberish, or social justice warrior thingy. Only time other brasses came out in public was either in WWDC, or when they had to apologize for slow Mac updates, and even then, nothing is happening.
      Cook has to be the CEO of Apple Phone, Inc.

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