Roger McNamee, a Silicon Valley investor for some 35 years, has penned an open letter published in TIME Magazine to Apple CEO Tim Cook is which he warns that “Apple does not appear to recognize how vulnerable it is in a changing political landscape.”
I have followed Apple as a securities analyst and investor since 1985, and have admired the company and its values for most of that time. Recently, however, I have become frustrated that Apple does not appear to recognize how vulnerable it is in a changing political landscape.
Recent news reports alleging mistreatment of some employees, internal policies that conflict with the company’s outward-facing stance on privacy, and efforts to prevent the passage of state laws to enable competition with the AppStore [sic], along with a high profile lawsuit related to AppStore policies have tarnished Apple’s reputation. Despite this, the company has taken a stance towards Congress and regulators that the latter describe as ranging from arrogant to inflexible.
Unless Apple rethinks its approach, regulators will likely have no choice but to undermine its advantage in privacy and security. As a customer, that will piss me off. As an activist trying to reform the tech industry, it will leave me wondering what might have been. I would like to suggest a path to a better outcome.
MacDailyNews Take: There’s much more in the full letter in which McNamee argues that Apple is ideally positioned to help regulators take on their most important targets: Amazon, Google, and Facebook. By supporting regulators, a cooperative Apple “would likely gain goodwill that would pay dividends for years to come.”