Is the cult of Apple over? Tim Cook faces a struggle to revive the spark

“Apple customers have previously been known for an almost fanatical devotion,” Matthew Field writes for The Telegraph. “Thousands of product designers, developers and fans flock for a glimpse of the latest phones, amid standing ovations and a blizzard of Apple-logo T-shirts.”

“This week, that rich corporate mythology suffered a blow. In a long-winded 1,400 word letter to investors, Mr Cook admitted sales of the iPhone – Apple’s core product which still generates two thirds of revenues – had fallen below expectations at the end of 2018, from $93bn to $84bn,” Field writes. “Apple stock plummeted 10 percent on Thursday, wiping out more than $74 billion of the company’s market value.”

“For Apple, its Apple Stores – now known as ‘Town Squares’ – are its temples, clean, white, palaces of worship with devoted attendants. One executive even described them in the semi-religious language of ‘gathering places. ‘That mystique has worn thin as Apple battles growing headwinds,” Field writes. “It is only Apple’s second earnings warning since 2002. Then, Steve Jobs succinctly and dismissively wrote-off the dip in 200 words as a bump in the road, a prediction that proved correct.”

“Cook has promised to ‘take advantage of our culture of flexibility, adaptability and creativity’ and said he was ‘confident and excited’ about its upcoming products. However, any attempt to drive up new revenue areas may take some time,” Field writes. “And as to its celebrated cult status, that may be trickier to refresh.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Steve Jobs could make a power cord seem insanely great. Tim Cook could put a room to sleep while unveiling teleportation; he makes watching paint dry seem like must-see event.

Apple is currently helmed by a charisma black hole. Sparks are therefor not emitted.

Lacking a charismatic leader who could sell ice cubes to eskimos, execution is the key. High quality products and services that just work with timely updates in sufficient supply at launch would be more than enough to keep us excited, satisfied, and loyal. Strong marketing wouldn’t hurt, either. With excellent products and execution, the weak keynote presentations would be bearable. Apple’s issues with late, old, sometimes problematic products and services do more to dampen excitement and devotion than anything.

SEE ALSO:
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2019 is make or break for Apple as CEO Tim Cook tries to save his legacy – January 4, 2019
$452 billion goes poof: Apple’s market value decline since peak easily exceeds the value of nearly any U.S. company – January 4, 2019
Wall Street analysts slash Apple target prices – January 3, 2019
Advisor to President Trump: Apple’s sales should pick up when U.S.-China strike trade deal – January 3, 2019
Two things Tim Cook just did that make Apple look guilty today – January 3, 2019
CEO Cook issues memo to employees after Apple slashes revenue outlook for the first time in almost two decades – January 3, 2019
Apple’s earnings warning means CEO Tim Cook now has a major credibility problem – January 3, 2019
Loup Ventures: We continue to expect AAPL to outperform the rest of FAANG in 2019 – January 3, 2019
Open thread: Does Apple need new leadership? – January 2, 2019
CEO Tim Cook on why Apple lowered first-quarter revenue forecasts – January 2, 2019
Apple CEO Tim Cook issues public letter to investors, lowers guidance – January 2, 2019
Open letter to Tim Cook: Apple needs to do better – January 5, 2015

66 Comments

  1. The magic dissipated when Apple Computer became Apple.

    I loved my Apple computers. I use my Apple iPhone.

    I hate the garbage Apple calls “music” and I don’t give a crap about headphones.

  2. Tim Cook’s inattention to the core business is taking its toll. Quality standards have sunk to Microsoftian levels under his watch. How much longer can Apple charge premium prices for products that are no longer premium.

  3. I would like to purchase some new Apple products because the current operating system is out of date and the hardware can’t be updated on the Apple products I own. Problem is, those products will be obsolete even faster. Perhaps the company is now in the business of “insta-bricks.”

  4. The homepod, announced in June 2017, was announced to be released in December 2017. 6 months of waiting? Okay, it may be worth it.

    Now it‘s exactly 18 months later. I live in Switzerland, a country where Apple‘s market share is over 50% and not only hasn‘t the honepod been released. They haven‘t even announced the release (again). Just silence.

    I adored Steve Jobs. But now Tim Cook travels around not getting tired to fight for his private and partially questionable political belief (like suppressing free speech) and doesn‘t seem to care about Steve Jobs who really „stayed hungry“ and really cared and said „true artists ship“. I am not there yet to piss on Steve Jobs heritage by supporting the competitors’ Thievery. So I don’t say F* off, Apple. But I am ready to think: F* off Tim Cook. You are fed up and I am fed up with you.

    Time to buy myself into the Sonos World now.

  5. Tim Cook needs to GO! and go now!
    • Terrible visionary
    • Poor execution of announce/release/financials
    • Lazy with updating small sku count
    • Disconnected with LOYAL customers
    • Terrible approach for the pro market
    • Lacking a 4″ model iPhone to appeal to those who want a smaller device
    • Terrible on marketing Apple and what Apple offers (outside a iPhone, Watch and iPad)
    I could go on forever… PLEASE replace this mis-guided, unfocused CEO with someone who is mentality in the game of COMPUTERS, PHONES, DISPLAYS, SOFTWARE, TECHNOLOGY, ECO-SYSTEMS, MARKETING over social issues and politics.

  6. This is what Apple has done and Tim has made worse.

    Education GONE

    The server room GONE

    Gaming GONE

    Creative market GOING

    All because each of these markets became “unprofitable” or “not enough users” or “not worth the investment” or the classic “we couldn’t add value”.

    The problem is that Tim can’t make a connection with creating a new product or repositioning an existing one that creates a new market or ends up dominating an existing one.

    No passion, no insight, no intellect. He’s a numbers guy.

    Selling high margin trinkets to the Starbucks generation and then trying to sell those idiots services is all that’s left.

    Welcome to Tim’s Apple.

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