What do you know, Tim Cook is in the news again. The Apple CEO inspires plenty of status updates in the form of articles and blog posts. The latest comes from both the New York Times and Daring Fireball’s John Gruber. Here are some excerpts.
Innovation, or none? That’s the iQuestion. Apple company rolled out the iPod, iPhone and iPad when Steve Jobs was still alive. Product updates since then have underwhelmed. There has been no introduction of a new species of hardware. There’s a book (“Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs” by Yukari Iwatani Kane) lamenting all this, for goodness’ sake. But Apple’s highly regarded design chief, Jony Ive, tells the New York Times:
Honestly, I don’t think anything’s changed… It is hard for all of us to be patient. It was hard for Steve. It is hard for Tim.
As we wrote late last year, a different book says Ive is still at Apple, so there’s reason for optimism. And besides, says Leander Kahney, author of “Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Products”:
One of the myths about Steve Jobs’ tenure is that he introduced an earth-shattering innovation every couple of years. … There have been long periods in Apple’s past when they were in a quieter, maintenance mode, like now.
But back to the New York Times’ Sunday article, which also looks at what else is different at Apple post-Jobs: Cook talks about, and takes action, on social issues. Apple now publishes a report about how its overseas suppliers are handling labor issues. Cook has spoken out for gay rights. The company has become more serious about being green. Cook told shareholders earlier this year:
We do things because they’re just and right.
If you want me to make decisions that have a clear R.O.I., then you should get out of the stock, just to be plain and simple.
Meanwhile, John Gruber writes:
Apple has never been more successful, powerful, and influential than it is today. They’ve thus never been in a better position to succumb to their worst instincts and act imperiously and capriciously.
Whereas a couple of developers who attended Apple’s recent annual developers conference quoted by the New York Times were taken aback that the company released fitness-related apps but not a rumored smartwatch that the software could have been paired with, Gruber said it’s all a part of Apple acting “magnanimously”:
They’ve given third-party developers more of what we have been asking for than ever before… I’m impressed not just by what Apple can do, but by what it wants to do.
Photo: Apple CEO Tim Cook in 2012. (Paul Sakuma/Associated Press)