Tag: tim cook

Clinton wanted Gates or Tim Cook for Vice president

main-qimg-c3c35d5a1a6001a0fcf594c49a5af26fAn email from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta released in the recent WikiLeaks dump shows that Clinton wanted Bill or Melinda Gates, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and Xerox CEO Ursula Burns for the Vice-President role.

There were 40 names on the list, so it was more like my Amazon wish-list, and there were signs that some of the names were not well researched. Apple’s supreme dalek Tim Cook is currently raising money for Ayn Rand–influenced ideologue Paul Ryan who shares similar views about stuffing up the great unwashed for a rich elite of self-serving bastards.

Bill and Melinda Gates are too busy saving the world to be bothered with the job of Vice-President, which unless the president gets sick is more of a ceremonial role. Even Dan Quayle managed to be a vice-president and he could not spell potato.

Burns probably does not want to leave Xerox where she earns on average $13 million a year. In fact her and her management team have all received salary increases over the last six years, but staff has not.

Cook loves his encryption

tim-cook-apple-ceoThe tax-evader whose company makes Donald Trump look like an amateur, Tim Cook is trying to convince the world that his outfit’s encryption makes the smartphone great again.

Apple’s supreme Dalek claimed that Apple had a hardline stance on user privacy and saw benefits of making strong encryption technology available to all.

“Encryption is what makes the public safe. As you know, there are people kept alive because the grid is up. If our grid goes down, if there was a grid attack, the public’s safety is at risk” — hence the need for encryption to protect it.

“You can imagine defence systems need encryption, because there are a few bad actors in the world who might like to attack those.”

He said that some people have attempted to make encryption out to be bad, but it really is “inherently great” and it would not be a safe society without it.

“So this is an area that is very, very important for us … as you can tell from our actions earlier this year, we throw all of ourselves into this. We’re very much standing on principle here.”


Apple share price climbs out of the pit

Apple's CEO, Tim CookAt the opening of trading on NASDAQ today, Apple’s share price (tick: APPL) stood at $121.99 but it’s made some recovery during the day and at press time stands at $124.19.

Apple’s financial results, which we reported on early today, resulted in a low in after hours trading of $199.96 – its share price had closed at $130.75.

While financial analysts still remain bullish about Apple’s future sales, it seems investors have their doubts.

CEO Tim Cook wasn’t saying whether sales of its iWatch were buoyant – but the concensus seems to be that it possibly shipped two million units during its financial quarter since it was released in April this year.

But analysts had predicted that as many as five million of the watches would ship – most of the revenues Apple generated came from the iPhone, but there are signs that sales of the smartphones may not be as brilliant as Apple obviously hopes.

Apple is supposed to bring out more iPhones this autumn, but there’s no guarantee that people will upgrade to any new phones it might launch.

Apple’s iPad is suffering from generally flat sales of tablets worldwide – and it’s rumoured to be bringing out one with a larger display later this year. The problems is that people don’t upgrade their tablets very often.

Apple still denies e-book conspiracy

Old Apple logo - Wikimedia CommonsYesterday a US appeals court found that Apple had led a conspiracy with publishers to hike up the price of digital books.

Apple had appealed against a decision a district court judge made in 2013, but Apple appealed against that verdict.

The appeals court said that the district court judge was well supported and well reasoned and Apple did create a “horizontal conspiracy” to raise the price of e-books.

The US Justice Department laid charges against Apple and others of raising e-book prices to outwit Amazon’s $9.99 price. The five co-conspirators settled before a trial could start. But Apple held out.

And, according to the New York Times, it’s still denying it did anything wrong. Tim Cook,Apple’s CEO, the newspaper said, described the ruling as bizarre, while an Apple spin claimed his company didn’t conspire to fix prices.

The spin doctor didn’t rule out taking the case further because the matter was about “principles and values”.

Apple gives Google, Facebook a thorough kicking

Apple's CEO, Tim CookThe CEO of Apple has laid into Google and other companies like Facebook for data mining peoples’ personal information and selling it willy-nilly.

Cook, according to Techcrunch, was speaking at an event in Washington DC but speaking at a distance through a video connection.

Cook said he and Apple think it’s unacceptable for customers t continually make tradeoffs between privacy and security.

He said people have a fundamental right to privacy, particularly American people, because the US constitution demands it and it’s morally right too.

Cook said that companies that use advertising to make their money are selling out people who use their services.

Although he didn’t mention Google and Facebook, both these companies trade in this way.

Cook said such firms were “gobbling up” anything they learned about people and trying to make money from it.

Even though people think such services are free, Cook said the services come at a very high cost indeed, Techcrunch reported.

Icahn plans Apple changes

Apple investors ploughed more cash into the beleaguered toy maker after it was revealed Carl Icahn was planning to do a number on the company.

Investors thought that Icahn shoving lots of cash into the company was a good thing indicating that all was well. But Icahn has a track record of buying up shares in troubled companies and forcing them to improve profits for shareholders.

Note the difference here.  While it might be good for an IT company to release new products, often what is best for shareholders is for companies to release more dividends.  This sometimes means giving up long term projects and profits in favour of a quick buck.

Icahn planning to do some kind of shareholder stirring sent stocks to a six-month high and boosted the company’s market value by $12 billion to $444.8 billion.

Icahn, who was dubbed a “fox in the henhouse” by former Yahoo chief executive Jerry Yang, said his firm had taken a “large position” in the company.

The word on Wall Street is that Icahn has about a $1 billion stake in Apple. This means that Icahn would have made about $50 million with him just announcing his involvement.

He said he believed the company was extremely undervalued and he had a meeting with Apple CEO Tim Cook on Tuesday afternoon.

Sure enough, he said that he was going to press Apple to increase its stock buyback, in which the company purchases its own shares in a bid to boost its value.

But it is not as if Apple has not been buying back its own stock.  In April the outfit pledged to spend $60 billion buying back its stock until 2015. So far it has bought $18 billion. Apple also plans to pay out more than $10 billion in shareholder dividends each year.

But Icahn said Apple “has the ability to do a $150 billion buyback now by borrowing funds at three per cent”.  In other words, get itself into debt to boost the share price.

He thinks that if it does that then shares should trade at $700 each. This sort of mentality is not what made Apple’s shares overvalued in the first place. That was managed by hype and an expectation that Apple would continue to make record profits.  Last September there was talk of the shares being worth $1,000 each.  That was before common sense took over.  

Still getting yourself into debt to boost share prices is not something that Apple would have traditionally done.  In the long term it will mean that Apple has less cash to invest in new projects and will become much more pedestrian in its approach.

Larry Ellison signals Apple's doom with topsy-turvy finger motion

Friend of the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs, flamboyant Oracle chief exec Larry Ellison has suggested Apple’s in trouble without its arch salesman. In a CBS interview, Ellison gives Apple without Jobs the thumbs down and finds room to say Google CEO Larry Page did “evil”.

CBS’ Charlie Rose asked Ellison what happens to Apple without Jobs steering the ship.

“We already know, we conducted the experiment and it’s been done,” Ellison responded. He points a finger in the air and says “we saw Apple with Steve Jobs”, then points it down and says “we saw Apple without Steve Jobs”.

Ellison raises his finger again, says “we saw Apple with Steve Jobs,” lowers his finger and says, “we’re going to see Apple without Steve Jobs”.

In the same interview, Ellison also said the only guys he has trouble with “are the Google guys” – “Larry [Page] specifically”.

“No one else runs that company,” Ellison said. “When you write a program for the Android phone, you write it, you use the Oracle tool, Oracle Java tools for everything, and at the very end, you press a button” that says “convert this to Android format”.

Google and Oracle had a long running patent spat with a jury ultimately declaring Google innocent of violating Java patents in Android.

He believes what Google did was “absolutely evil” and that he blames Larry Page “100 percent”. “I don’t see how he thinks you can just copy someone else’s stuff,” Ellison said, adding “it really bothers me”.

Apple profits slump

Apple’s iPhone sales were slightly better than expected, Cupertino revealed in a quarterly earnings release, but profits sharply declined.

Apple managed to sell 20 percent more iPhones than the same time last year at 31 million in total – but these were largely bolstered by sales of older models in emerging markets. Other devices did not perform as well at all: iPad sales plunged 14 percent year on year while demand for Macs dropped seven percent.

Analysts expected iPad sales to be around the 18 million mark but fell well short at 14.6 million. Apple blamed this on inventory problems among channel partners and the recent launch of the third generation iPad last year. Competition clearly stepped on Apple’s toes too, but it’s not the sort of company to acknowledge that.

Total profit fell 22 percent to $6.9 billion while revenue was mostly flat at $35.3 billion. Assets were still enormous at $146.6 billion in cash and investments.

Consumers in emerging markets helped bolster iPhone sales – tending to buy older models such as the iPhone 4 rather than the latest iPhone 5. Growth in China, however, had slowed down, particularly as inexpensive local models profligate.

Cupertino believes Q4 revenue will be somewhere between $34 and $37 billion. Analysts’ prior expectations were $37 billion, the Wall Street Journal reports.

In an analyst conference call, chief executive Tim Cook declared there is still opportunity for Apple, including in premium-priced phones. People clearly are buying premium smartphones, but the iPhone is no longer the de facto choice. Android devices finally out evolved the iPhone on all fronts: pricing, appearance, features, spec, and usability.

Cook will have to really impress with the next iPhone, expected October – adding a virtual assistant just won’t do the trick any more. The rumoured cheaper iPhone could help Apple tackle the mid-range market.

Analyst group CCS Insight did not show as much optimism as Apple. In a note, Geoff Blaber, director of devices, said the revenue slowdown was “as expected” but clearly “points to the effects of mounting competition” and a “lack of impetus from new products”.

“The slump in iPad sales will have been a disappointing result, especially since the tablet market is seeing healthy volume growth,” Blaber said. “This plateau in sales shows Apple is suffering from a lack of new product impetus in contrast to the same quarter last year. The sustained shift in consumer preferences to 7 and 8 inch tablets that we are seeing presents a challenge for Apple given the iPad’s margin contribution versus the iPad mini.”

Apple, CCS believes, is desperately in need of positive PR – and that can only be achieved with the usual hype-fest surrounding new products, expected later this year.

But one has to wonder – is Apple’s time at the top almost over? A problem with Cupertino’s arrogance is that people will buy new devices purely because of the brand, but Apple does not seem to have realised there are other players on the branding war, and they’re doing rather well indeed.

On the contrary, a recent Apple ad campaign was widely slammed for being “depressing”. 

Apple urged to acknowledge exploitative tin use

Activist group Friends of the Earth is urging Apple to come forward and own up to the use of Bangka tin in its products – the mining of which is wreaking havoc in Indonesia, killing coral, and destroying tropical forests.

Tin can be found in every phone, FotE claims, and is essential as a solder. A third of the world’s tin is harvested from Bangka and nearby Beitung.

An investigation by FotE has found the tin mining in Bangka is dangerous and unregulated and is directly harming local people by harming crop growth. Soil, FotE says, has been turned acidic following the clearing of forests for tin mining.

Silt, meanwhile, is polluted by tin mining and killing coral reefs and seagrass. This drives away fish, an important food source for locals.

Although Apple, with Philips and Samsung, has signed up to a partnership with Dutch government agency the Sustainable Trade Initiative, and the Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition, to discuss the problems of mining Bangka tin, it is refusing to come clean, in line with the apparent modus operandi at Cupertino with other controversies.

“Unlike Samsung, Apple is still keeping its customers in the dark by refusing to confirm or deny where the tin in iPhones and iPads is from,” FotE campaigns director Craig Bennett said in a statement.

“CEO Tim Cook has said he wants to be more transparent about Apple’s supply chains – it’s time to show he means this by coming clean about Bangka tin,” he said.

An open letter from Friends of the Earth to Tim Cook asks the Apple CEO to clarify, when asked Apple’s position on whether or not the company sources its tin from Bangka, whether he intends to:

“A) Confirm it, and set out what steps the company is taking to deal with the matter,

“B) Deny it, or

“C) Refuse to be straightforward about your company’s supply chain, and continue the current unacceptable practice of refusing to comment”.

Apple may be forced to comment if the questions are pressed enough by the public.

Oracle’s Ellison earned $264,109 a day

The CEO of Oracle, dashing Larry Ellison, earned $96.4 million last year and it’s hard to figure out how he can make ends meet.

That’s $11,004 an hour, or if you prefer it, $183.4 a minute, and $3.05 a second.

The figures, compiled by the Wall Street Journal, show Ellison is way ahead of the corporate CEO pack.  Apple’s Tim Cook only earned a paltry $4.2 million, while Paul Otellini, the ex-CEO who left Intel yesterday, raked in $18.3 million. This makes Tim Cook something of a pauper in the CEO stakes.

Meg Whitman, at HP, earned a respectable $15.1 million, but Rupert Murdoch at News Corp, trousered $22 million. Virginia Rometty, at IBM, only managed to make $14.7 million.

The figures include stock awards.