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Tim Cook believes Apple's 'laser focus' will keep it from becoming Sony

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
In an extensive interview with journalist Brian Williams, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said why he believes Apple will remain relevant for years to come, rather than slipping into irrelevance like companies that became cultural phenomenona in the past.

Cook


Williams asked Cook whether it's possible for Apple to stop from becoming Sony, noting that when he was a child, having a Sony Trinitron TV in one's home was a big deal.

Cook declined to refer to Sony by name after the question from Williams, but did discuss how some companies in the past decided that they could do everything. Apple won't do that, he said.

Cook


"We have to make sure at Apple that we stay true to focus ? laser focus," Cook said. "We can only do great things a few times, only on a few products."

NBC revealed that it took months of meetings and negotiations to get Cook on the record for Thursday's interview. It was the first time he had appeared on television for such a discussion.
post #2 of 39

You heard it here first, folks.... Tim Cook will introduce the Apple Trinitron television set next year.

 

lol.gif

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #3 of 39
I watched this interview and all I can say is Samsung must have loved the free advertising. 1rolleyes.gif OK I have no problem with Brian Williams asking Cook about Samsung but did he really need to play an entire Samsung ad during the interview? 1rolleyes.gif
post #4 of 39
No mention of Samsung being laser focused on knocking off the next great Apple product.
post #5 of 39

The plural of "phenomenon" is "phenomena."

APOSTROPHE: he's/she's/you're/it's
NO APOSTROPHE: his/hers/yours/its

Is this really so difficult?
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APOSTROPHE: he's/she's/you're/it's
NO APOSTROPHE: his/hers/yours/its

Is this really so difficult?
Reply
post #6 of 39

I really hope Tim Cook didn't say "phenomenons."

 

I'm also hoping Apple splits in two if Tim Cook has no interest in the pro market. 

post #7 of 39
Remember linegate? The big scandal when Triniton displays had horizontal wires running acrross them, making thin black lines in two places?
post #8 of 39

This 'Apple might become Sony' meme is one of the most idiotic things I've ever heard. There's literally nothing in common with the 2 companies or their history, and absolutely no parallels except incredibly superficial ones that lazy journalists and bloggers can cling to in order to make their shitty page views. An article bashing the hell out of Apple in Forbes I read yesterday literally made my head hurt, by the sheer falseness of every single claim. Don't understand how the **** these people get paid to spread their bullshit. 

post #9 of 39
Focus is necessary but it can't be so narrow that legitimate opportunity and/or critical changes to the strategic environment are either ignored or missed altogether.
post #10 of 39

He's not correct about that. Even if they do have laser focus, they could still be pushed in to irrelevance by companies simply doing more interesting things.

 

Such as real-world things, software is all virtual. Eventually people are going to lose their fascination with software and the Internet and start caring more about solid objects again such as amazing new medicines or buildings or vehicles.

post #11 of 39

"Phenomenons" does exist, indeed:

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/phenomenon

post #12 of 39
If you're Sony: ouch.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #13 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

This 'Apple might become Sony' meme is one of the most idiotic things I've ever heard. There's literally nothing in common with the 2 companies or their history, and absolutely no parallels except incredibly superficial ones that lazy journalists and bloggers can cling to in order to make their shitty page views. An article bashing the hell out of Apple in Forbes I read yesterday literally made my head hurt, by the sheer falseness of every single claim. Don't understand how the **** these people get paid to spread their bullshit. 

You're right... Apple and Sony don't have much in common as corporations or through their heritage.

But the question was.... will Apple ever slip into irrelevance (like Sony has with televisions, for instance)

In the context of what was said in the interview... Brian Williams said when he was a child having a Sony Trinitron was a big deal.

Nowadays... Sony TVs aren't a big deal anymore.

They weren't talking about Apple as a whole and Sony as a whole. It was more about Sony no longer being the first company you think of for consumer electronics.

And I think that extends beyond TVs... do people go crazy for Sony phones, tablets and VAIO computers?

Nope.

The bottom line is... 20 years ago Sony was THE consumer electronics company. Now... not so much.

Will Apple ever get into that situation sometime in the future?
post #14 of 39
@slurpy: but there is a direct relationship between Apple and HP, if you read the Isaacson book. That's the same situation.

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

Reply
post #15 of 39

Remember linegate? The big scandal when Trinitron displays had horizontal wires running across them, making thin black lines in two places?

 

 

Yes I do - now that you remind me.

post #16 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

This 'Apple might become Sony' meme [...] made my head hurt, by the sheer falseness of every single claim. Don't understand how the **** these people get paid to spread their bullshit. 

 

It start from the top and the whole operation get paid by the consumers.
post #17 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post


You're right... Apple and Sony don't have much in common as corporations or through their heritage.
But the question was.... will Apple ever slip into irrelevance (like Sony has with televisions, for instance)
In the context of what was said in the interview... Brian Williams said when he was a child having a Sony Trinitron was a big deal.
Nowadays... Sony TVs aren't a big deal anymore.
They weren't talking about Apple as a whole and Sony as a whole. It was more about Sony no longer being the first company you think of for consumer electronics.
And I think that extends beyond TVs... do people go crazy for Sony phones, tablets and VAIO computers?
Nope.
The bottom line is... 20 years ago Sony was THE consumer electronics company. Now... not so much.
Will Apple ever get into that situation sometime in the future?

I hope so. Why? If Apple is always number 1, something is wrong and we are losing too much without knowing. Also... Apple can do awesome comebacks, and they risk a lot with every new product category, so sh*t can happen (not right know with so much money, but in 20 years, who knows).

Quote:
Originally Posted by strobe View Post

I really hope Tim Cook didn't say "phenomenons."

 

I'm also hoping Apple splits in two if Tim Cook has no interest in the pro market. 

Oh... he has an interest in the pro market, but only for those that are willing to learn and evolve, aka the ones that matter.

The others (puppets to better minds) can go to Dell and HP, they will fit quite well there.

post #18 of 39

Big difference between Sony and Apple is that Apple has an OS, this is the drug that keeps people hooked. 

post #19 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

Remember linegate? The big scandal when Triniton displays had horizontal wires running acrross them, making thin black lines in two places?

That was no *gate, it was a feature of Trinitron!
Send from my iPhone. Excuse brevity and auto-corrupt.
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Send from my iPhone. Excuse brevity and auto-corrupt.
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post #20 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by macaholic_1948 View Post

Focus is necessary but it can't be so narrow that legitimate opportunity and/or critical changes to the strategic environment are either ignored or missed altogether.

Ignoring and/or missing the start of the MP3 player market didn't work out so bad for Apple...

1wink.gif
Pot is legal in North Korea.
That explains a considerable amount.

"The United States will respond proportionally at a place and time we choose..."
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Pot is legal in North Korea.
That explains a considerable amount.

"The United States will respond proportionally at a place and time we choose..."
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post #21 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post


Ignoring and/or missing the start of the MP3 player market didn't work out so bad for Apple...
1wink.gif

And the phone market, and the tablet market...

post #22 of 39
Originally Posted by the_steve View Post
The plural of "phenomenon" is "phenomena."

 

Doot doo, doo doo doo…


Originally Posted by strobe View Post
I'm also hoping Apple splits in two if Tim Cook has no interest in the pro market. 

 

Zero sense.

post #23 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by strobe View Post

I'm also hoping Apple splits in two if Tim Cook has no interest in the pro market. 

 

Well I don't know that Apple would do any such thing with their hardware, but in the spirit of this "laser focus," I could see a future where Apple might consider pulling a "Claris" with their pro applications. Frankly, it might not be a terrible idea either.


Edited by MJ1970 - 12/7/12 at 7:23am

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #24 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

He's not correct about that. Even if they do have laser focus, they could still be pushed in to irrelevance by companies simply doing more interesting things.

 

Such as real-world things, software is all virtual. Eventually people are going to lose their fascination with software and the Internet and start caring more about solid objects again such as amazing new medicines or buildings or vehicles.

 

I could respond in two ways:

 

(1) "New medicine" created with the aid of powerful software, "or buildings" whose entire layout is created using software, "or vehicles" need I go on. People are never going to lose their fascination with software unless society collectively wishes to return to prehistorical times. We will only rely on software more and more in the future and society as it is now couldn't function without it. Software is only a tool, as is a blunt stick. The Internet is only a form of communication, vastly superior to anything we've ever created before. How is having better, more manipulatable tools and inexpensive, unrestricted, world-wide disemination of thoughts and ideas a bad thing and why would we ever want to stop being interested in them?!

 

(2) "Solid objects" like the Mac (including new input peripherals), iPod, iPhone, and iPad. None of these are virtual objects and their physical design is arguably more attractive than their software.

 

So what's your point? Or did I miss the /s.

When a company stops chasing profit and start chasing the betterment of their products, services, workforce, and customers, that will be the most valuable company in the world.
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When a company stops chasing profit and start chasing the betterment of their products, services, workforce, and customers, that will be the most valuable company in the world.
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post #25 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by silverpraxis View Post

 

I could respond in two ways:

 

(1) "New medicine" created with the aid of powerful software, "or buildings" whose entire layout is created using software, "or vehicles" need I go on. People are never going to lose their fascination with software unless society collectively wishes to return to prehistorical times. We will only rely on software more and more in the future and society as it is now couldn't function without it. Software is only a tool, as is a blunt stick. The Internet is only a form of communication, vastly superior to anything we've ever created before. How is having better, more manipulatable tools and inexpensive, unrestricted, world-wide disemination of thoughts and ideas a bad thing and why would we ever want to stop being interested in them?!

 

(2) "Solid objects" like the Mac (including new input peripherals), iPod, iPhone, and iPad. None of these are virtual objects and their physical design is arguably more attractive than their software.

 

So what's your point? Or did I miss the /s.

 

You nailed it. And you didn't even really touch on all the other physical products we use every day that extensively use software that we don't even notice. Cars are just one example.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #26 of 39
I r
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

Remember linegate? The big scandal when Triniton displays had horizontal wires running acrross them, making thin black lines in two places?

I remember back in the day 15" and smaller Triniton tubes had one line and 17" and larger screens had 2 lines. Sony said it something to do with electron gun tracking and on screen display accuracy.

Tubegate was a bigger deal since the government got involved. I remember buying a 17" NEC CRT for a premium over the 15" CRTs. Then I realized that 17" NEC CRT only had a 15.x" display. Part of the 17 inches were behind the plastic. I returned that display right away and got cheaper 15" CRT that had a display area of 14.9 inches.

The government made all the CRT computer display manufacturers change their packaging and advertising. Small win for consumers.
post #27 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post

You're right... Apple and Sony don't have much in common as corporations or through their heritage.
But the question was.... will Apple ever slip into irrelevance (like Sony has with televisions, for instance)
In the context of what was said in the interview... Brian Williams said when he was a child having a Sony Trinitron was a big deal.
Nowadays... Sony TVs aren't a big deal anymore.
They weren't talking about Apple as a whole and Sony as a whole. It was more about Sony no longer being the first company you think of for consumer electronics.
And I think that extends beyond TVs... do people go crazy for Sony phones, tablets and VAIO computers?
Nope.
The bottom line is... 20 years ago Sony was THE consumer electronics company. Now... not so much.
Will Apple ever get into that situation sometime in the future?

I think Sony lost/losing in TVs for several reasons. Up until recent SmartTVs, the HDTV was a simple monitor. The TV companies weren't adding much value each year while pricing kept declining. Sony kept premium pricing while their HDTVs didn't offer an extra value for the average consumer.

The HDTV became a simple monitor, similar to its role on computers. The real value is from the media content and other services that could be used via the display/HDTV. The HDTV value was only related to picture quality, which became good enough from all competitors.

Like someone mentioned, their was no OS offing new value thru content and services.

SmartTVs are changing things but cable boxes and media boxes (Roku, AppleTV, Xbox, PS3, etc...) add more value than the stuff built into SmartTVs. How often are SmartTVs going to get software updates or be replaced by a consumer for a new model. MediaBoxes are the future, with consumers opting to update a $99 box ever few years, like the smartphone industry. HDTVs are like Dell and HP desktops, they are "good enough" and people will keep them till they break.
post #28 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spacepower View Post


I think Sony lost/losing in TVs for several reasons. Up until recent SmartTVs, the HDTV was a simple monitor. The TV companies weren't adding much value each year while pricing kept declining. Sony kept premium pricing while their HDTVs didn't offer an extra value for the average consumer.
The HDTV became a simple monitor, similar to its role on computers. The real value is from the media content and other services that could be used via the display/HDTV. The HDTV value was only related to picture quality, which became good enough from all competitors.
Like someone mentioned, their was no OS offing new value thru content and services.
SmartTVs are changing things but cable boxes and media boxes (Roku, AppleTV, Xbox, PS3, etc...) add more value than the stuff built into SmartTVs. How often are SmartTVs going to get software updates or be replaced by a consumer for a new model. MediaBoxes are the future, with consumers opting to update a $99 box ever few years, like the smartphone industry. HDTVs are like Dell and HP desktops, they are "good enough" and people will keep them till they break.

 

You're right.

 

Additionally I'm sure there are certain companies (cable and wireless companies, I'm looking at you) that are undoubtedly quite fearful that they are going to become "just a pipe" and the value is going to be at either end of the pipe (those providing smart end of network devices and those providing content, functionality and services that ride over those pipe.)

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #29 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post

And the phone market, and the tablet market...

Shhh! You're giving away all of Apple's secrets! 1wink.gif

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #30 of 39
See, here's what's ironic about Apple not wanting to be Sony: Steve Jobs used to want Apple to emulate Sony, once upon a time. "Before the dark times. Before the Sculley."

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #31 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

See, here's what's ironic about Apple not wanting to be Sony: Steve Jobs used to want Apple to emulate Sony, once upon a time. "Before the dark times. Before the Sculley."

Exactly.

Steve Jobs wanted to emulate Sony back when Sony was profitable and was the consumer electronics giant.

Now it's the other way around... Sony wishes it could have a fraction of the success of Apple...
post #32 of 39
Tim was insistent on the purpose of the company: to make great products, "the best in the world," to enrich people's lives.

Corny as it sounds, it really does seem to be what drives them. A corollary is that they can only do a few of these transformative products at a time, thus the laser-like focus.

Sony had the part about making delightful products right, but they were not so focused on enlightenment. The effects of their products were a secondary consideration, if at all.

Apple is the first corporation in history, as far as I can tell, that is focused on selling enlightenment through hardware and software, and maybe we have to add, through technology as an art form.

So as long as they keep this focus, they can't possibly end up like Sony.
post #33 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

I watched this interview and all I can say is Samsung must have loved the free advertising. 1rolleyes.gif OK I have no problem with Brian Williams asking Cook about Samsung but did he really need to play an entire Samsung ad during the interview? 1rolleyes.gif

Correction, they didn't play the entire commercial and in fact talked over half of what was played.

post #34 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

This 'Apple might become Sony' meme is one of the most idiotic things I've ever heard. There's literally nothing in common with the 2 companies or their history, and absolutely no parallels except incredibly superficial ones that lazy journalists and bloggers can cling to in order to make their shitty page views. An article bashing the hell out of Apple in Forbes I read yesterday literally made my head hurt, by the sheer falseness of every single claim. Don't understand how the **** these people get paid to spread their bullshit. 

They don't have to believe what they write, when they do it to help control stock prices.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #35 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

Big difference between Sony and Apple is that Apple has an OS, this is the drug that keeps people hooked. 

Two OSs, better designers and more higher reasons for doing what they do.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #36 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

Tim was insistent on the purpose of the company: to make great products, "the best in the world," to enrich people's lives. Corny as it sounds, it really does seem to be what drives them. A corollary is that they can only do a few of these transformative products at a time, thus the laser-like focus.
Sony had the part about making delightful products right, but they were not so focused on enlightenment.

Apple doesn't sell enlightenment. They sell great products. Great products provide functionality and satisfaction, not enlightenment. Not that great products are not important, they are. They make a difference through caring about use and design, thus giving people a better quality of life, is certain ways, anyway. And this is exactly why we'll see a TV from the big A.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #37 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by silverpraxis View Post

So what's your point? Or did I miss the /s.

 

I don't disagree with anything you said. My point was not that people will stop using software, just that software/computer companies might not always be the rock stars they are today. 
 
Software is just a tool, as you said, and there are many other aspects of life that could take the forefront. 
post #38 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

You're right.

Additionally I'm sure there are certain companies (cable and wireless companies, I'm looking at you) that are undoubtedly quite fearful that they are going to become "just a pipe" and the value is going to be at either end of the pipe (those providing smart end of network devices and those providing content, functionality and services that ride over those pipe.)

This raises an interesting point. The dumb pipes of the cable companies VS media boxes. I recently read that google is looking to sell of the part of Moto that makes the cable boxes. I would think throwing Android/GoogleTV on millions of cable boxes would be a great strategy for Google.

I can only speculate that Google isn't pursuing this strategy bc the cable companies will refuse to buy GoogleTv cable boxes that would diminish their control. ie Netflix and Hulu built into a cable box would reduce the appeal of the cable companies' paid On-Demand offerings.
post #39 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

Ignoring and/or missing the start of the MP3 player market didn't work out so bad for Apple...
1wink.gif
Like I said, "legitimate opportunity." Part of the trick to managing well is to know what to do. That we discussed. The other part is to know when to do it. That is the answer to your response.
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